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Month: February 2017

Building Blocks of Communication

Building Blocks of Communication

Often, satisfying interpersonal communication is thought to be second nature, something that comes naturally to all people. After all, everyone is human and humans know how to speak to each other, right?

It would be convenient to think in this way and approach sensitive topics with such a simple outlook. It is not the human condition to instantly understand how to breach sensitive topics like a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer communication is not a straightforward subject to address and the skills that follow are meant to provoke thought and self-reflection. Before jumping into cancer-specific areas of communication, there are a few basic communication components that are foundational to the success of these enhancement materials.

Verbal Messages

Verbal messages are the words chosen or spoken. Another way to think of verbal messages is that they are communicated through language. The purpose of improving verbal messages is to tell and communicate better exactly what is thought or felt. Benefits include ensuring that there is no confusion or misunderstanding between two people. Without confusion or misunderstanding in a stressful situation, like a cancer diagnosis, conflict and distrust may be minimized.

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Learning to Communicate about Cancer

Learning to Communicate about Cancer

“Communication” is an all-too-common term in society. We talk about needing better communication at work or about how easy it is to talk to a certain friend. But what does it really mean to communicate? And is it possible to become a better communicator? The short answer is “yes.” We can always become better communicators. We can start by learning more about communication and by practicing some essential skills.

Communication is a process. It is composed of different aspects working together. Each aspect plays a vital role in the communication process and can alter the overall message that we are trying to impart. Keep these aspects in mind to better understand the basics of communication and your role in the process.

  • Verbal messages are the words chosen or spoken. Another way to think of verbal messages is that they are communication through language.
  • Nonverbal messages include posture, facial expression, eye contact, tone, and gestures. Though nonverbal messages do not include words, they can be very descriptive by themselves or can augment verbal messages.
  • Active listening involves not only hearing but being all-present during the conversation. Many times we can be distracted by noise or even by daydreaming.
  • Communication also involves feedback. Feedback and be verbal or nonverbal messages that tell the speaker that his or her message has been received.

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