WORKSHOP THREE - VERBAL COMMUNICATION
RITUAL: Name tags/Handouts/Snack/Sit in a new seat
DISCUSSION: Talk about last week’s class
ICEBREAKER: Pick one from my big list
WARM UP: Go!
* Researchers define verbal communication as any means of communicating that
uses words, numbers or symbols. The average person spends 70% - 80 % of their
day communicating verbally.
9 % Writing
16 % Reading
30 % Speaking
45 % Listening
EXERCISE: Making the PBJ
DISCUSSION : After the Making the PBJ exercise , I go through the handouts
of which of the points applied. Usually # 1 - 7, 13 and 14 I explain each in
more detail as point out how they did or did not use these techniques in the
HANDOUTS for Communication:
Verbal (click for printable PDF)
* Which is your personal stumbling block? Which one of these points do you need
to remind yourself of or consistently work on? Let the group know which one.
Show you are human.
- Slow down
We are so used to speaking quickly. Record yourself and listen to how fast
* I use the example of trying to listen to your answering machine or voice
mail and how quickly people are speaking. You can’t even understand
- Be Specific
“ Go there.”” Sit by her.”” Put that on your
head.” All of those can be misunderstood. Make sure you are as clear
- One instruction at a time
Processing takes longer and more than 1 instruction will be forgotten. See
# 3 & 8
EXERCISE: Brush Your Teeth
- Stay away from pronouns.
He. She. It. We need to be specific.
- Validate Feelings & Empathize
Be aware of the persons facial expression and the tone of their voice. Let
them know you understand.
- Use their name
If you are not sure if you know someone - but they know and say your name,
it is reassuring. "If you are walking down the hallway and you hear someone
say your name ‘ Karen !’ you turn and look and assume this person
- Be Patient
Sometimes it is very hard. You want to just do it yourself or finish the sentence.
Give respect and dignity. Take a deep breath.
- Who Where What.
Begin with orienting information. "Good Morning Mr. Jones! I’m
Karen and I am here to take you to therapy."
- Don’t argue
You won’t win. Ever. Most of the time there is logic to their argument.
- Repeat. And repeat it exactly the same.
If you are having trouble being understood. Look at # 8. And repeat what you
said exactly the same way. The person is trying to remember and process what
you said the first time. Don’t change the words around to try and help
them. It won’t. If repetition does not work, try saying it in a new
- If you ask questions - try to give 2 choices or a “yes/no”
"Bill, here’s your sweater, would you like to wear your blue sweater
or red sweater?" When giving choices, put the choices at the end of the
sentence. You may have to show the items.
EXERCISE: Questions into Polite Commands
- Avoid abstract words.
Use “Let’s eat soup“ instead of “Let’s eat lunch
* Explain further what is abstract and concrete.
- Think about the environment.
Is the TV blaring and 4 or 5 people talking in the background and your care
receiver is not responding at all ? Be aware of distractions and new surroundings.
- Praise. Praise. Praise.
Everyone wants and needs to know they are doing well. Non verbal and verbal
reassurance is a must.
This is a universal way of communicating.
EXERCISE: Yes Let’s !
EXERCISE: Red ball Thank You !
EXERCISE: Scene in 2 Sentences - Verbal
HANDOUT: Change the
You can have them do this worksheet alone or in pairs.
CLOSER: Look at list of closers.
EVALUATION: Fill out one
page evaluation (click for printable PDF)
HOMEWORK : Look over your handouts and which of these apply to you?
Which one can you focus on for this next week?