Great communication is vital to ensuring a happy household and building a strong team together. It is important that you communicate regularly. When misunderstandings or problems arise, talk about them right away. That way, you can spend more time finding a solution rather than letting tension build. Here are some of our best practices for communicating.
- Start with Mutual Respect
Respect is the foundation of effective communication with your Care Professional. Respecting their cultural differences but also their professional background. Your Care Professional is here to support you and bring in their knowledge and training. In every interaction the goal is to strengthen the partnership with your Care Professional. We recommend to speak in a clear and considerate manner and share the positives of their work. A problem-solving approach is recommended to address any concerns that may arise.
- Maintain Regular Communication
Be sure to plan for weekly meetings. Prioritize a formal weekly meeting by making it the same time and date each week. The most successful placements result from Care Professionals and Host Families communicating directly and openly at a regularly scheduled weekly meeting in addition to informal daily communication. This is a great time to proactively bring up successes and challenges from the week. Regular meetings encourage ongoing and open communication and help to avoid any build-up around potential problems or misunderstandings.
- Write Down Instructions
Be sure to write down any important instructions. This includes everything from schedule changes to vacation requests to adjustments to childcare responsibilities. If anything is unclear, confirm the information again to ensure there are no miscommunications.
- Approaching Difficult Topics
It may be uncomfortable to approach difficult topics – but it is important that you communicate your concerns right away. Addressing something that is bothering you will make you feel better and give the other party an opportunity to be aware of your concerns. Provide everyone with an opportunity to explain their side before coming to a resolution. Keep in mind that there may be cultural differences influencing both sides so open communication is essential. Be mindful of your approach, think about what you want to say before you say it. Always ask questions or ask for clarification with a positive non-blaming attitude. Assume the other person had good intentions.
- Remember the Color Code
All Care Professionals and Host Families participate in the Color Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman, which provides useful information about strengths and limitations as well as relationships with other colors. Be sure to review the information together and see if you can discover some insights into the best way to communicate with each other. Understanding how the people in your home communicate is key to peace and harmony within the four walls in which you live.