How I Learned To Be A Better Communicator

Business Relationship

This past spring, I watched my fiancé graduate from Nursing School. Being present through her process, some of what she learned transferred to me. I began reflecting on how much I learned about the healthcare field and how it relates to business.

The relationship elements of this job share considerable overlap in communication techniques I use in my role as a project manager team leader at work. I felt it was worth discussing the commonalities. In school, nurses are taught Therapeutic Communication, a practice that focuses on “Advancing the physical and emotional well-being of a patient,” through utilizing 16 communication techniques.

Therapeutic Communication Techniques

To encourage the expression of feelings and ideas

While you may not be able to use these everyday over email, I think you’ll find, once you have these in your toolkit, they do come in handy whenever you have irritable stakeholders or have to deliver bad news. I find that some of these that can be used often are:

Now that we have a list of these techniques, let’s talk about how to use them to your advantage. I find myself using these communication techniques when dealing with an unhappy customer support escalation.  I initially try to ask relevant questions to fully understand their situation and where they are coming from. It is important at this juncture to convey confidence in your ability to resolve the situation while also sharing empathy for the situation.

Once I determine the proper course of action to resolve the customer’s issue, I like to provide information to be fully transparent on my next steps to resolve their issue. This is also the moment where you can share hope by letting them know that their issue is resolvable by executing the process you provide. Finally, when I follow up with the customer after I have executed the action on my end and the issue is resolved, I like to summarize the issue and verify that resolution has indeed been met.

 

Working in customer support, you learn very quickly what customers and stakeholders do and do not want to hear. Leveraging the therapeutic communication techniques while avoiding the non-therapeutic communications listed below, can make your ability to escalate resolution as painless as possible.

Non-Therapeutic Communication Techniques

“Blocks” to communication of feelings and ideas

Therapeutic communication techniques are utilized in the medical field when communicating some of the most life-changing information to patients. In business, they are often used for the same situations and to resolve conflicts or misunderstandings. When dealing with sensitive issues, it is important to envision how you would like the information communicated to you if you were in the other person’s position. If you act in this manner while utilizing the therapeutic communication techniques and avoiding the non-therapeutic communication techniques, you should be able to successfully and effectively communicate the situation with the stakeholder.

 




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