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Basic Rules for Communicating

Communication means exchanging information with others. We exchange information about feelings, opinions, and facts. People can tell if a friend is feeling sad or in pain, or is happy, and they can tell the same about us. We often communicate what is going on with us through one of three methods: verbal communication, written communication, or nonverbal communication.
There are four basic rules for good communication:
Be a nonjudgmental observer and listener. It is important to learn to receive information in a nonjudgmental way, that is, in an accepting manner without expressing your opinions. It is necessary to develop the skill of recognizing when your opinion is important and when you should not express your judgment.
Be a careful listener. Always listen when someone speaks to you and listen to what the person says. Listen to what is left out of the conversation and listen for the tone of the voice of the speaker and his breathing pattern. Is it fast or slow? Does it make sense? Listen to what the speaker says, not to what you think the speaker says. Sometimes it’s helpful to write down what the speaker says in order to remember.
Be sensitive. There are times when the client does not want to talk – at those times you should respect his wishes. There will be times when saying nothing may have more meaning than any words or facial expressions on your part. Sometimes a pat on the shoulder or hand means more to a client than anything you could say. Simply being near the client in a moment of trouble may be the most comforting message of all.
Be courteous. Courtesy means being polite, considerate, and cooperating with others — you should be courteous at all times. If you feel like being impolite, try to understand why you are feeling that way (this may give you time to alter your behavior before you act impolite).
Always be a good listener and listen to what your client says and what he does not say. Listen to the way he says something. Always listen when a client makes a complaint or brings up a problem. Being a good listener will not only make you a better worker, it will make you a better person.

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