There are many ways of communicating with people such as speaking, and using sign language but to do so effectively requires a cycle. It s called the communication cycle for obvious reasons and like the ability to communicate it is innately built, individuals do it automatically. To carry out the cycle successfully two or more parties must be present. Communicating involves expression of thought and interpretation of the other parties understanding.
There are six phases of the communication cycle, the first is expressing your own thoughts, the second is watching the other person non verbal response and body language. Thirdly is interpreting the other person’s body language and trying to work out what he or she is thinking, next is listening to his or her response to what we have said, following this is trying to make sense of his or her response. Finally the original speaker expresses new ideas to try and clarify our ideas. For a simplified version see the diagram below
However using the communication cycle doesn’t mean that it is correctly used all the time, sometimes people listen but they do not hear just what the other person is trying to discuss, to use the communication cycle effectively it requires active listening which involves hearing what the other person has to say and being able to use the cycle to demonstrate that you understand what the other person has to say.
When faced with having to communicate difficult, complex and sensitive issues it is important that a great deal of care is taken. When having to break unfortunate news to a person it helps to emulate their feelings so better consideration can be given. When explaining a complex and sensitive issue to someone it is best to find a quiet place to sit them down because they might not want everyone to know what is going on.
Whilst telling them the issue that they need to be aware of it is important to explain using language that is appropriate for them so that they understand to the best of their ability. It is also vital that the deliverer of the news has a soft tone of voice and has open body language so they appear easy to talk to, to make the person more comfortable the time that you set for breaking the news should be free of interruptions and you shouldn’t seem hurried.