How communication affects relationships at work

The way in which we communicate with people is important because it can affect the relationship we have, the effectiveness of our own and others’ work and of the organisations in which we work.

How communication affects relationships at work in a positive way

  • Positive communicators establish relationships of trust, with service users, their carers and our colleagues and to ensure that other parties involved in our interactions understand the scope and limitations of our work and what is appropriate and inappropriate for us to take on.
  • Communicating positively has an impact on the quality of the relationships we form with other people, it can have a profound influence on other people and on how they respond to us.
  • We need to be aware of how we present ourselves in conversation of in written communication (grammar, vocabulary we choose to use, volume and tone of voice, how we use non verbal communication; our awareness of personal space) to make sure we are communicating the right message.

How communication affects relationships at work in a negative way

  • Poor communicators are not effective in their work role and can let themselves and others down, giving a poor image of the organisations where they work.
  • Poor communication can quickly lead to confusion and distress. The process of exchanging information through communication is not always straightforward. If the information shared is accurate or misleading, mistakes can be made which can result in poor care.

The first few minutes of engagement with others often determines whether we have set firm or shaky foundations for our future relationships, interaction and involvement with them. Even if you set off on the wrong footing we can always make an effort to improve a relationship through engaging in honest and clear communication.

Our ability to be able to take turns in conversations and to listen appropriately as well as to speak is crucial. Showing that we are listening is important. The use of reflective listening (listening to what the person is saying and checking our understanding by expressing it back to them) and active listening skills (focussing entirely on the person and not be distracted or interrupted by others) enables us not to impose our own views or decisions on people but to enable them to have the means to feel supported when resolving things themselves.

Remember It is often not what we say but how we say it which has the effect!

Use to answer question 6.1b of the Care Certificate

commication picUse to answer question 6.1b of the Care Certificate



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