Six Tools for Child Care Professionals to Improve Communication in Your Center
Are you wishing I was going to give you SIXTY communication tools, and not just six?
I don’t blame you. Communication is always the number one problem …. well, probably in the world. But certainly in any business.
Adults are the root of all communication problems. (No kidding!)
- Adults learn via different modes. Some learn by verbal instruction. Some need written instruction. Some need both. Most don’t really learn until they actually do what you are telling them.
- Adults have different comprehension levels of written or spoken information.
- Some people are much better (or much worse) at developing and delivering information. If the information isn’t present well, how can it be understood well?
So, the first part of communication issues is people writing, reading, speaking and listening. Yikes! Lots of opportunities for problems here.
I‘d like to offer six tools for you to consider to ensure good communication in your center.
1. Writing: Put all information in writing – it is documented, a resource for all and should serve to get everyone on the same page.
2. Checking: Evaluate all information for understanding/clarity by having it reviewed by at least two other people (staff & parent) to check to see if the information means the same to them as it did to you when you wrote it.
3. Talking: Take every opportunity to also deliver the information verbally. Some people understand better by hearing the words.
4. Welcoming: Always allow (and in fact encourage) opportunity for questions about the communication.
5. Recognizing: Be consistent in where you deliver communication, and deliver the exact same information in multiple locations. For example, let people know that all notifications will be delivered via a staff meeting, and in a paper memo, and in the staff section of your website. Don’t deliver it one place one time and another place another time.
6. Quizzing: The quality of communication in your center will directly compare to the quality of cohesiveness and organization within your center. So, ask staff and parents to comment on how communication can be improved. Consider a suggestion box.
While it may seem like it will take a lot of time to deliver any information, recognize two things:
- It takes a lot longer to untangle or recommunicate if the initial communication is not effective.
- The more you practice this process, the easier it will become for you.
Communication is a daunting task, but it is the foundation of our success. Good luck!
P.S. Check out our webinar on Communication.