Communication skills are essential to excel in any discipline or field. Explain the three interpersonal communication skills of listening, feedback and questioning, and critically discuss the benefits of applying these skills within your particular discipline or field.
Word count: 1270 words.
Reference style: APA 6th edition
Communication skills are essential in daily personal life as well as in different professions, workplaces and in business. People need effective communication skills on a daily basis to convey their ideas, emotions, thoughts and to get other people’s ideas. Organizations and individuals both need effective communication skills to survive in any discipline or field. For example, an organization with excellent communication channels has a greater chance of succeeding because the communication will foster strong partnerships and promote its products and services effectively. Communication skills can benefit individuals in different aspects of their lives from social gatherings to the professional sphere or in business communication with clients or colleagues. Good communication is essential in all aspects of our lives and can involve different skills including listening, feedback and questioning.
One of the most important communication skills is listening. Listening refers to the ability of an individual to accurately receive a message and interpret it in a communication process. Listening plays a central key in communication because the inability to listen effectively can result in misunderstandings that cause a breakdown in communication (Lunenburg 2010). Effective listeners endeavor to understand the messages from other people in different contexts. Effective listening involves the effort to decode verbal messages as well as the ability to interpret the nonverbal cues such as physical posture, gestures, and the tone of the voice as well as the different facial expressions.
Feedback is the other important interpersonal communication skill. Feedback refers to the reaction or response to the message from the sender. Feedback is essential in communication as it represents the final step in the communication process (Lunenburg 2010). Feedback may involve different forms including an action, oral or written message, or even silence may amount to effective feedback. Sending a message during the communication process only satisfies half the process. Once the messages reach the intended audience, the receiver needs to decode the message and render the feedback to the sender to complete the communication process. Feedback plays a crucial role in the process as it enables the sender to evaluate the effectiveness of the message.
Questioning is also another interpersonal communication skill that plays a significant role in the communication process. Questioning involves asking the audience to provide more information in particular circumstance such as where they need more clarification or where they did not receive a clear message (Littlejohn ; Foss 2010). Question is important as it helps in gaining more information and its absence may lead to the failure of the communication process. During the communication process, people ask questions to obtain more information, to help maintain control of a conversation, to express an interest in the person, to clarify a point or to encourage further thought.
The three interpersonal communication skills; listening, feedback and questioning, play significant roles in the communication process. The importance of effective listening is that it enables the listener to gain more information because active listening encourages the sender of the message to talk about things in greater depth (Kurtz, Draper ; Silverman 2016). Such an in-depth discussion is essential in identifying the underlying issues or problems that may not have been recognized previously. Feedback is also an important skill as it enables a person to know whether the recipient has understood the message in the same manner that the sender intended it to be understood (McCabe ; Timmins 2013). Feedback also makes it possible for the sender of the message to evaluate the effectiveness of the message and this makes the communication meaningful, as it is the end-result of a particular idea and makes communication a continuous process. Questioning also has its benefits as it allows an individual to learn new knowledge and clear out any confusions and misunderstandings that may exist during a communication process (Lally 2013). Questioning also makes the person sending the message to understand that the audience is interested in the message, which encourages the individual to explore more details when communicating.
There are various benefits of applying feedback, questioning and listening skills in nursing. Developing effective communication skills is essential in nursing as it helps in improving health outcomes and patient satisfaction. The quality of communication among the nurses and between nurses and patients has a significant influence on the patient outcomes. Feedback is important in nursing as it helps in clarifying performance, developing self-assessment and delivering high-quality information (Levinson, Lesser ; Epstein 2010). Nurses work in a complex and often stressful environments that have time and service pressures. Therefore, feedback is important as it helps in improving the confidence and competence of the nurses at all stages of their work. The other benefit of feedback in nursing is that it makes one feel that their efforts and contributions are valued (McCabe ; Timmins 2013). Positive feedback also acts as reinforcement and strengthens the chances of the desired performance continuing. For example, when the nurses are complimented for an excellent job done, such a feedback may encourage them to continue with the good performance. Additionally, feedback can also be used to guide and suggest ways that nurses can improve their performance to help build relationships in nursing care.
Questioning skills are also essential in nursing as they can help a nurse obtain more information regarding a patient and improve their outcomes. The communication between a nurse and a patient is important as it helps promote and build mutual understanding, trust, and support (Malloy, Virani ; Kelly 2013). Using effective questioning skills is important as it may help the nurse obtain critical information from the patient. Questioning can help the nurse identify and meet the needs of the negative feelings of the patient and improve the quality of care. Nurses can use both open and closed questions to understand what the patients or clients want (McCabe ; Timmins 2013). Closed questions require a simple yes or no answer while open questions require the patient to speak in more depth about a particular situation or condition.
Effective listening skills are also essential in nursing as they play a central role in the patient-centered care. Listening skills are essential for obtaining critical medical information in nursing practice. Active listening shows the patient that the nurse cares and helps in building trust between the nurse and the patient, which in turn improves the patient outcome (Riley 2015). The goal of the nurse is usually to help the patient get better and this needs good assessment and an effective action plan. Therefore, active listening assists in conducting an excellent action plan by allowing clarification and a better understanding of the bigger picture. The nurse support the patient in becoming informed so that they can make decisions that serve their best interests. Nurses do not persuade the patients to do what the nurses would do for themselves. Instead, nurses understand the priorities, values, and goals of the patients thus making it important to listen to the patients effectively to help them make decisions that will serve their lives well.
Communication skills are essential to excel in any field or discipline. Various interpersonal communication skills play a central role in our communication both in private or professional lives. Interpersonal skills such as feedback, listening, and question are important in the communication process as they help build relationships and obtain more information making the communication process successful. The different communication skills are critical in nursing as these may be the difference between life and death. Nurses need to have effective communication skills to aid in communication with the patients to improve the patient outcomes. Communication skills such as questioning, feedback and listening are critical in our everyday lives as well as in the professional life.
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Lally, S., 2013. Practice teaching and importance of feedback. Community Practitioner, 86(1), 27-56.
Levinson, W., Lesser, C. S., ; Epstein, R. M., 2010. Developing physician communication skills for patinet-cntered care. Health affairs, 1310-1318.
Littlejohn, S. W., ; Foss, K. A., 2010. Theories of human communication. Waveland press.
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McCabe, C., ; Timmins, F., 2013. Communication skills for nursing practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
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