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The Importance Of Communication English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 3435 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Within this essay I will explore the methods and importance of communication when working as a childhood practitioner. Communication is commonly defined as the “imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs This is a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create a shared understanding. This process involves a huge repertoire of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills including listening, speaking, questioning, observing, analysing, and evaluating.  The importance of communication within a team is perfectly demonstrated in this analogy by Wideman (2000): ‘Communication is like engine oil: it needs to be applied to the machinery or the machinery will not start or, if it does, it will quickly falter and grind to a halt. And the oil, like communication, needs to be continuously recycled and regularly replaced with new oil as the old becomes no longer usable. But what of the quality of the oil? Too little or too thin and it is not effective; too thick or too much and everything just gets gummed up.’ (Wideman, 2000).

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Effective communication is crucial for a team to be successful. The team needs to communicate regularly with one another because through communication cooperation and collaboration occur. Collaboration with one another is necessary in the workplace because it helps to solve problems, help maintain standards of practice and create a good rapport with all involved. Ebbeck and Waniganayake (2003, p.195) state “shared decision making is one secret of successful management”. In order for this to be achieved communication is essential and necessary in the workplace. Great communication skills are an absolute must it is ‘A vital part of any centre’s functioning is the communication that occurs among staff’ (Ebbeck and Waniganayake,2003: p.197). A lack of teamwork and communication can lead to a stressful working environment and a poor quality service.

In a recent presentation of mine I demonstrated through a communication exercise the importance of communication and how communication is not just verbal in nature. The exercise required all team members to communicate clearly in the communication method appropriate. The team had limitations that prevented them from communicating in the easiest form this forced them to develop a way of overcoming these barriers, communicating in a different fashion whilst also working as a team. They had two attempts to complete the task assigned to them. The first attempt went very badly as they found it very difficult to communicate with the barriers in place. However after a small group discussion they were able to devise a way to accomplish the task.  This simple exercise is a useful one to employ during a staff meeting and it teaches the value of communication and the need for effective and clear communication in order to work as a team.

Communication can be viewed as an active process that is in turn influenced by the complexities and ambiguities of human behaviour. It is riddled with the potential of breakdown. Clampitt sates that ‘We actively construct meanings within a unique vortex that includes the words used, the context of the utterances, and the people involved’ (2005, p.8). It is a process where elements such as any non-verbal actions, individuals own interpretation and own ascribed meaning can have an influence. Communications strategies to construct a clear and unambiguous message can encourage effective and direct communication. There are certain barriers both physical and psychological that can hinder communication as Clampitt states and it is important to be aware of these. Anything that prevents a message being understood is seen as a barrier. These are some barriers that can occur when communicating:


Culture, background, and bias – Our culture, background, and bias can allow us to change the meaning of a message, which can interfere with the communication process.

Noise – Noise impedes communication as it can both distract the sender and receiver so that concentration is hard and also muffle and distort the message being sent.

Perception – If we feel the person is hard to understand for instance talking to rapidly, not fluently or is not articulate enough the receiver can dismiss that person. Preconceived attitudes can also affect our ability to listen.

Ourselves – There is a tendency to focus on ourselves rather the person communicating which can cause conflict and confusion. Some of these factors that affect communication are ego and the feeling of superiority.

Message – Distractions can happen when someone doesn’t look at the idea presented and chooses to focus on facts. Semantic distractions are when a word is used in a different manor than you prefer.

Environmental – these can include a range of stimulus that can provide potential distraction.

Stress – People view things differently when under stress. A message can be influenced by psychological frame of mind and our beliefs, knowledge, experience and values.

Communication is vital within the childcare profession; in order for good communication it is necessary to understand the different components. Communication consists of the following methods; verbal, non-verbal communication, and written.  Verbal communication is a communication method using word of mouth. For instance  holding a conversation with someone requires the development of skills and social coordination which means having the ability to start and end conversations, the ability to show an interest and being able to interest the person you are having a conversation with. Argyle (1988) devised the “Sender and Reciever Model” which encodes the oral messages by the sender and decodes the messages then by the reciever.

Sender   ®    Encodes     ®    Message    ® Decodes    ®    Reciever


Verbal communication is used to greet people, problem solve and provide support. It can also helps with everyday tasks such as, explaining issues and procedures exchanging ideas or learning ideas. It is necessary for childcare prationers to have highly attuned social skills, as they are dealing with people every day and oral communication is central in being able to bond and to have relationships with people. Thompson 1986 argued that commuinication is imperative for two major reasons these where as follows; one to enable people to share information and two enabling people to have relationships with people. Thompson stated that  “relationship is the communcation.” There are certain barriers that occur using verbal communication within the Children’s services such as semantic barriers, dialect, and language and tempo message. Other barriers include message complexity and message overload, which is when a person receives too many messages at the same time.


Written communication is another useful communication channel and is very important between different professionals. Writting information down makes records more pernament and more accurate. Written informnation is unlike a verbal message which can become distorted when being verbally passed to people There are barriers in written communications such as the illegibility of people’s hand writing or if the written message is misunderstood.. The rules governing writing are also different compared to oral communication as it is necessary in written communication to maintain accuracy and darity. When writing information there is a need to check that all of the information is correct as if the information is recorded wrong it could result in problems. As problems can occur such as; delays in meeting the needs of the children and parents; not being able to make the right decision due to the vagueness of information recorded; being unable to deliver an organised service. An example of written communication documents is staff rotas showing times of work and holiday.  Lastly Non verbal communication is everything other than spoken words, this includes paralanguage this is ‘um’ or ‘ah’ sounds, the volume of the talking, the pace and accent. A very big part of non-verbal communication is facial expressions as these are indictors to others about our feelings, attitudes, states of mind and relationships. Non-verbal communication can also include eye contact, proximity, posture and gestures. All three ways of communication have problems but are an effective way to communicate with others when used in the right way.


Communication is about active listening as well as communicating with the necessary sincerity and compassion. Listening is a key skill and should not be underestimated.  One of the purposes of listening is to convey interest and respect for the other person and this is crucial to solve problems that arise and to also meet another person’s needs as well as our own. Studies have revealed that listening is the on the whole the most frequent aspect of workplace communication (Adler and Elmhorst, 1999). Other studies have also found that Managers spend on average 65-90% of their working day listening to someone, with the percentage of time increasing with level of managerial responsibility (Kotter, 1982, Nichols & Stevens, 1990). However research highlights that people generally people achieve no more than 25-50% accuracy in interpreting the meaning of each other’s remarks (Spitzberg, 1994). This means misunderstanding is very common. Furthermore tuning listening skills and becoming competent at listening would improve workplace communication significantly. There are barriers that hinder the ability to listen. For one People are very quick to ‘jump to conclusions’ and form a judgement before the speaker has finished, this in turn can mean that the message intended is misinterpreted. People also have a tendency to hear what they want to hear and be inattentive while cultural issues or the interruption of the speaker can also prevent people from listening. Developing active listening skills such as listening to non-verbal as well as verbal language, paraphrasing, using feedback, and asking appropriate questions can help to identify possible misinterpretations of the message, as well as check for unintended messages.



Good communication is absolutely essential and key when working with children, young people, families and carers. It is central in building trust amongst the users and staff within this context. In order to maintain relationships it needs to be an active process that involves listening, understanding and responding accordingly. Communication is both necessary on the one-on-one basis and also when working in a group and it is important to realise when to focus on the individual and when to focus on groups. Another thing to be aware of is that communication is a two way process that is necessary to make sure the person feels valued and respected. Communication should also be matched appropriately to the stage of development, personal circumstances, and needs of the person being addressed. The culture and context when communicating needs to be thought about for instance, the professional should hold awareness and communicate appropriately if English is an additional language, the child is disabled or at risk of under-achievement or other poor outcomes.  Effective communication is also about utilising the best communication method appropriately and being aware of any barriers that could occur these could include poverty, disability, anxiety, cultural differences and religious requirements.


It is the manager’s duty to make sure communication within the team is effective. There are many ways a manager can help and improve a team’s communication. The first is to keep all the communication channels open. Management should be always there to listen and actively participate with the team. A strong relationship with management is important for communication and in turn the productivity of the team. The second is to offer some form of staff training in clear communication. Miscommunication is all too common in the working world and training in correct communication can easily help avoid miscommunication. Teaching employees to communicate in a clear and precise manor and listen carefully to the speaker can rectify this. Classes in other forms of communication can also be of help. Lastly it is good to invite feedback from staff and hold regular meetings both of which can provide a solid avenue for communication. All people are different and are better at different methods of communication so providing as many avenues as possible is a good way to ensure communication is easy for others. Team meetings are a fantastic way to give everyone a chance to participate and have their say. It allows people to facilitate and contribute to decisions involving the workplace making them feel respected and that their feedback counts.


 Communication is a highly complex process and to improve interpersonal communication, a fuller knowledge and understanding of communication skills are essential. Communication is not just about speaking it is about active listening, written and non-verbal ways of communication. Any team who wants to be successful needs to communicate in a direct and clear manor. Management should ensure that communication skills are practiced and that it is an ongoing process. Communication allows a team to work together effectively. Communication is an important skill especially when working as a childcare practitioner as without communication a child’s needs cannot be met.









 Have two people ‘lead’ the group

·         Leaders need to try and physically arrange all of the players in sequential age order (youngest to oldest)

·         Each leader has specific limitations restricting the ease in which they can do this.


Leader One cannot see and has the following limitations:

·         can only ask yes or no questions

·         cannot touch anyone


Leader Two can see and can touch people but has the following limitations:

·         cannot speak


All other players in the group can only answer yes or no to any questions and cannot move unless moved by Leader Two.



















 Communication Rationale

The rationale for this particular communication exercise was to teach each person the importance of clear and direct communication and its importance when working as a team. Effective communication includes a range of skills which include things like body language, clear speech, eye contact and active listening. Communication activities like the one I used for my presentation allow participants to focus on these skills and understand their impact on the effectiveness of communication.

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The task also illustrated the importance of working as a team to overcome limitations and complete the task set. The team players had to try and understand one another using different communication strategies in order to complete the exercise successfully and within the time cap. Furthermore this task forced players to perform with limitations such as not being able to speak or not being able to use hands etc. During this game, the demand for  effective communication from each player was essential. Similarly the understanding of each teammate’s role on the team, as well as their own, was vital to the team’s success. Players needed to understand their roles and accomplish their tasks in their roles, without trying to do “everything”.

This communication exercise was designed to help the participants become more aware of the importance of communication in all forms whether verbal or non-verbal. They also had to uses direct and precise communication so not to confuse other team members. They also had to have an awareness and acceptance of the varied roles within a team. Awareness comes with visual and verbal communication by the individual participant and their teammates.






Types of Communication Based on Communication Channels

The process of communication can be broadly classified as verbal communication and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication includes written and oral communication whereas the non-verbal communication includes body language, facial expressions and visuals diagrams or pictures used for communication.

·                     Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is further divided into written and oral communication. The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and even the speed and clarity of speaking. The other type of verbal communication is written communication. Written communication can be either via snail mail, or email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language.

·                     Nonverbal Communication

Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while communication since the expressions on a person’s face say a lot about his/her mood. On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can independently convey emotions. Non verbal communication can also be in the form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and paintings.

phrase from some British propaganda during WWII neatly sums up the dangers of ineffective communications: ‘Careless talk costs lives’. That may be over-dramatic in most cases where communications between seafarers or between ship and shore go

awry but it does illustrate the importance of effective communications and the real dangers if they go badly wrong.






















This task has allowed me to understand the importance of communication within a workforce and how a team relies on communication to function. The presentation went well, I was able to get across the necessity of teamwork and the different methods of communication. The team all had limitations which meant not only did everyone have to communicate but they had to find different ways of communicating successfully. The problem was with the presentation is it lacked time; ten minutes seemed far too short. I had to limit the presentation to literally just the task and a few words prior to explain the task and why communication was important. If I had more time I would have conducted a slightly different task.

The team also wasn’t able to complete the task first time so I had to allow them to try again a second which was time consuming and meant I had to cut short the presentation and not summarise it as well as I would of liked to .  The negatives to the task I did conduct were that a few people did not understand the instructions I gave them at first so I had to also explain the task again fully. If I was to re do the presentation I would simplify the task. I think all in all the presentation showed the class the value of communication whether verbal or non-verbal and how teamwork is essential in any difficult situation. It was essential for them to utilise all avenues of communication to pass the task.



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