Communication is conveying a message to another person through language – both verbal and nonverbal. The basic steps of communication are thinking about the message, communicating that message and making sure it was heard and understood as intended by the recipients. 

Communication in our Crestwood campuses is of paramount importance. It is the lynch pin in relationships, safety, effectiveness of services, satisfaction and sustainability of services in behavioral health. Communication can be as basic as breathing and as complicated as neurosurgery. Effective communication begins with these essential skills: 

  • Listening- being a good listener is one of the best ways to be a good communicator and it requires paying attention. 
  • Nonverbal Communication– your body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice all play into communication, so be aware of what you are communicating. 
  • Clarity and Concision– good verbal communication means saying what you mean, just enough and not too much. 
  • Friendliness– through a friendly tone and smile you will encourage others to engage in open and honest communication with you. 
  • Confidenceit is important to be confident in your interactions with others. Confidence shows that you believe in what you’re saying and will follow through. Exuding confidence can be as simple as making eye contact or using a firm, but friendly tone. Be sure you are always listening to and empathizing with the other person. 
  • Empathyusing phrases as simple as “I understand where you are coming from” demonstrate that you have been listening to the other person and respect their opinions.
  • Open-Mindednessin situations where you disagree with what someone else has to say, it is important to sympathize with their point of view, rather than simply try to get your message across. Respect the opinion of others and never resort to demeaning those who do not agree with you.
  • Respectrespecting what others have to say and acknowledging them is an important aspect of communication. Being respectful can be as simple as paying attention to what they have to say, using that person’s name, and not being distracted. By respecting others, the other person will feel appreciated, which will lead to a more honest and productive conversation.

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Effective communication is simple and exquisite, yet not easy. What makes communication work well is attention and intention. You need to pay attention to what and how you are communicating and focus on the intention, which should be honest, transparent, values-driven and beneficial so that it helps, not hurts the other person. By practicing and continuing to develop these essential communication skills, will help us to improve, foster and build stronger relationships with co-workers and clients throughout our Crestwood campuses.

Communication is conveying a message to another person through language – both verbal and nonverbal. The basic steps of communication are thinking about the message, communicating that message and making sure it was heard and understood as intended by the recipients.