Spoken Communication Self-Check
You may recently have read Ear and Hearing Australia’s article Good hearing: a must in times of Coronavirus that focussed on the importance of effective hearing and communication throughout this time of social distancing and stay-at-home regulations.
As well as discussing the use of optimally functioning hearing aids and other hearing technology, the article reviewed Communication Strategies which hearing-impaired people themselves can employ to maximise understanding.
But what if you are the family member, friend or service provider of the hearing-impaired person? How effective is your communication?
This Spoken Communication Self-Check may provide some insight!
Answer Yes, Sometimes, or No to the following statements.
- I gain the person’s attention before I begin speaking.
- I make sure I’m facing the person as I speak and avoid looking down or turning away.
- I speak clearly, without shouting.
- I speak at a reasonable rate; not too slowly or too fast.
- I keep my hands away from my face.
- I make sure the light is not shining in my conversation partner’s eyes.
- I eliminate or reduce background noise such as the TV or radio.
- I’m aware if my conversation partner isn’t following or understanding me.
- If I’m not making myself understood, I find a different way of saying the same thing.
- I recognise that communication is a two-way process and take responsibility for doing my part.
By answering the questions on this quick check-list you may have pinpointed areas that could be improved such as getting the person’s attention before speaking, facing them, or rephrasing a question if it hasn’t been understood. It’s very easy to forget to do the very things that will help the most.
During this time of Coronavirus, with its social restrictions, it’s more important than ever to stay connected, whether it’s via text and email or through spoken communication in person, over the phone/mobile or via a screen.
We trust the Spoken Communication Self-Check has given you food for thought as to how well you are supporting your hearing-impaired conversation partner when using the spoken word.