Effective Communication


Effective and purposeful communication is listening carefully and communicating respectfully in ways that help build trust and rapport with clients, community members, colleagues, and other professionals. Effective communication includes a mix of listening, speaking, gathering and sharing information, and resolving conflict. CHWs are open about their roles, responsibilities, and limits. CHWs protect client privacy and confidentiality. They convey knowledge accurately, clearly, and in culturally aware and responsive ways. They are able to use language and behavior that is responsive to the diversity of cultures they encounter in their work, including with clients, community members, and other professionals.

During our training, participants will learn to:
  • Be respectful and culturally aware during interactions with clients
  • Practice careful listening, repeating back important information as necessary to confirm mutual understanding, continually working to improve communication and revisit past topics as trust develops with client
  • Pay attention to expressive (non-verbal) behavior
  • Ask neutral, open-ended questions to request relevant information
  • Speak clearly and honestly
  • Use language that conveys caring and is non-judgmental
  • Explain terms or concepts whose meanings may not be obvious to clients, community members, or professional colleagues
  • Clarify mutual rights and obligations, as necessary, such as client confidentiality or CHW reporting responsibilities
  • Use written and visual materials to convey information clearly and accurately
  • Take care to prevent situations involving conflict. Address conflicts that may arise in a professional and safe manner.
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