Communication and perception in hospitals and other workplaces involve important issues on many levels.
Many people, including most nurses, doctors and management teams, might feel constantly bombarded by misconception and confusion among team members.
How instructions are communicated directly impacts how they are received and executed.
Without clear and precise direction, many work assignments likely will not be carried out smoothly.
How one perceives a work assignment directly impacts the eventual outcome.
Without an effectively conveyed message and a mutual understanding of the task at hand, it likely will not be accomplished without complications.
The perception arrived at by an individual receiving a coworker's message is very important.
An individual must be ready to not only receive messages but also perceive what is being conveyed.
Senders and receivers should express mutal understanding of the subject of the conversation (or message) to be certain each perceives it the same way.
Communication skills, like being a good listener and having an awareness of cultural diversity, is also very important.
Be open-minded, patient and nonjudgmental. Be more open to argument or disagreement.
Additionally, the concept of thinking before speaking and ensuring the clarity of the messages being portrayed will better the chances of the idea getting across to both parties.
Be Considerate & Mindful
Remember the importance of pronunciation, especially when dealing with patients and coworkers with diverse cultural backgrounds.
Avoid using slang, as such words can easily be misperceived and create problems when relaying messages.
Pay more attention to the surroundings; they play an intricate role in retrieving messages. Loud or persistent noises, lights and people can impact the outcome from the information provided.
Be respectful to the individual while listening and exchanging messages.
Be mindful of any personal issues or circumstances you are aware of that may alter an individual's judgment.
Be aware of your body language. Gestures and/or facial expressions can betray your emotions and lead to misperceptions by the individuals receiving your messages.
Power of Command
To prevent confusion and frustration in the workplace, communication must be precise and direct from leaders, whether given to an individual or a group.
With good communication skills and an understanding of perceptions they create for staff, a leader will harness the power of command and play an important part in gaining the respect and cooperation from team members.
At the same time, team members must believe the leader treats them with mutual respect.
Both the leader and the team members should be able to ask and answer questions or request for help. Both should be able to offer, accept and explore each other's opinions to improve the workplace environment.
The leader should evaluate performance based on observation and the staff's past performances - not a single incident.
For daily obstacles, the leader and the team members must be allowed time to regroup and share their thoughts and feelings on a particular subject before tackling the next.
Remember, no one is perfect. But with a little practice you can develop good communication and perception skills that will help bring peace to your workplace.
Puntipa Lily Phuphanich is a staff nurse in interventional radiology at Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL.