Communication that Gets Your Clients Talking
The most effective support comes from clear and open communication that ensures you understand what your client wants and needs from you. It also ensures that your clients understand your professional and personal boundaries.
Learning to communicate effectively is more than having your clients fill in an intake form or offering support in developing a birth plan. It ensures that you are asking the right questions so that your clients can share their concerns with you knowing that they will be heard and respected. It means creating an open and inviting dialogue that allows for an exchange of honest thoughts, requests and limitations. It's the basis for everything that unfolds between you and your clients.
moving beyond the short answer
Brief answers can give you lots of information - how many children your client has, when is the baby expected, who do they want with them when the baby arrives, where they plan to give birth. Yet there is so much more to supporting our clients. Do they have a history of trauma? How did they feel about their last birth? Understanding more about your client will give you the best opportunity to offer the support that they want. Moving beyond brief answers will give your client the opportunity to share what is important to them and will help you both to come to a plan to provide her with the support that will best meet her needs.
asking the right QUESTIONS
Not all questions are necessary and some can shut down communication. You'll have the opportunity to more closely examine the kinds of questions you've been asking your clients and to consider what information you would like to gather. Learning how to pose effective questions can open the door to more meaningful discussions where you can help your client develop a plan that works for her. You'll better understand the tools and skills your client needs to achieve her goals and you can support her in gathering what she needs to enhance her experience and her wellness.
honing your skill
Through group participation, you'll have the opportunity to develop and hone your skills. You'll become adept at asking open questions that encourage dialogue. You'll learn the art of reflective listening so that both you and your clients complete your visits feeling heard and reassured.