Improving Communication

Improving Communication Across Barriers:

In Dr. Beegle's research, an overwhelming number of participants facing poverty reported that when they leave a helping professional (educators, social workers, health workers, professionals in the justice system and faith based members), they do not know what to do next. Communication is complex if you are talking with someone who has a similar background. The complexities grow when you add in social class differences.

This session provides tools for improving communication and working more effectively with people living in poverty. Concrete communication strategies are provided for ensuring the messages you are sending are the ones being received. It also teaches fundamental communication principles for building better relationships with those you serve. Participants will explore their own dominate styles of communicating and gain practical tools for improving their skill sets. Five effective techniques are introduced to provide a foundation for improving communication and relationships across poverty barriers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the role of identification, empathy, and perception in building trust.
  • Demonstrate how to use “We” language to build common ground.
  • Understand the importance of “I” statements to increase inclusivity.
  • Understand keys to suspending judgment and increasing active listening.
  • Explain the differences in word of mouth style of communication (oral) and print styles of communication.
  • Identify your dominate style of sending and receiving information and gain skills for creating shared meanings.
  • Discuss the difference between descriptive language and judgmental language and techniques for ensuring that you are setting people facing poverty up for success.
  • Share five keys for improving communication across social class barriers.