How accessible communication can make a huge difference.
When we were last at The Deep in Hull the staff put together their advice on Do’s and Don’ts. The energy behind making this list was brilliant because we saw first hand the influence of our training.
This blog post is dedicated the their work so here it is.
Do’s and Don’ts – Our Top Tips in communicating with visitors with a range of needs.
- Talk to the person not the carer
- Be approachable
- Let the visitor know you are there if they need anything (but without being condescending)
- Be aware but not imposing
- We aware of your wording – sensitive phrasing
- Be polite and friendly
- Re-phrase the information if the visitor does not fully understand rather than repeat several times
- Be patient as some people may take longer than others to respond/understand/interact/take in information
- Use discretion and best judgement when issuing carers tickets
- Explain things clearly but not patronising
- Use a soft tone especially if things are escalating
- Ask people if they need help – at an appropriate time
- Look at the individual not the carer
- Body language is important – open hands, eye contact, facing forward
- Be respectful
- Be open minded
- Be nice!
- Be human
- Be compassionate
- Find someone who can help if you feel in an uncomfortable position or don’t know the answer
- If someone rings and they are getting frustrated say you will ring them back
- Say clearly “this is what is happening and this is what I a going to do”
- If you are feeling uncomfortable breathe through your nose to relax
- Lower your shoulders and have a good posture when speaking to people
- Active listening and three nods to show you are there for the person
- Build relationships
- Be aware that sometimes if needs are not met anxiety will rise
- On the phone ask for their contact details – phone number and email incase you need to contact them again for any reason
- Ask on the phone “can I call you back” if you need to gather more information rather than keep them hanging on
- Ask “what can I do”.
- If a child is becoming challenging ask if parent if they would like a quiet place
- Speak to the mum if there is a challenging situation and ask if she needs any support or is there anything you can do
- Ask if they are ok.
- Just talk to the carer
- Invade personal space/touch their mobility aids etc
- Rush them or show impatience
- Presume they need your assistance without asking
- Single them out in a crowd
- Shout/raise tone/speak slowly
- Use derogatory phrases
- Speak to disabled people like children
- Automatically assue carers ticket is required
- Treat different disabilities as the same
- Make assumptions