Why it is Important to Observe and be Receptive to an Individuals Reactions

Why it is important to observe and be receptive to an individual’s reactions when communicating with them

The way someone reacts, verbally and non-verbally and their behaviour when participating in a conversation, sends powerful messages about them and how they feel. For example, when asking someone if they are in pain, they may say ‘no’ but a wrinkled brow, uncomfortable facial expression or body movement may say otherwise. As an observant worker you will be able to notice when an individual is becoming confused, angry, upset, stressed or anxious without them telling you.

Observing an individual’s reaction in a conversation enables us to know whether:     (Answers 6.1c)

  • The person has understood what we are saying, is receiving the messages which we wish to impart and not misinterpreting them. (E.g. a person may be able to understand what is being said to them but might not be able to express it in words).
  • Whether we are being effective and whether we are conveying the message we intend. (Do we need to change our own communication and behaviour in order to be more effective?)
  • We are facilitating and supporting their participation
  • We are working at their pace
  • They are listening to what we are saying
  • Their concentration has waned or is sustained. E.g. Are they tired, do they need a rest or is it appropriate to have a break here?
  • We are engaging in productive communication and giving them equal chance to participate in the conversation. Are we or others engaged in empowering them or does the person seem uncomfortable, disempowered or overwhelmed?
  • They agree or disagree with us
  • We need to provide more information
  • They wish to express their views and to exercise a right to challenge us
  • Our communication is effective and appropriate of if we need to improve it
  • The setting we have used for the conversation is appropriate

Recognising the unspoken messages can help you to ask good questions and develop supportive relationships. It improves trust as the individual can see that you are interested in them and trying to understand and meet their needs.

Use to answer question 6.1c of the Care Certificate

very proud to be working with...