How Can Positioning Affect Communication?


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Positioning should be considered carefully when communicating with others. If it is in a formal manner then two seats either side of a higher table is appropriate. If it is in an informal manner then two chairs placed at an angle to each other with a low table nearby is more appropriate. If communication is to a large audience a lecture theatre layout is more suitable as the speaker could then be seen and heard by all.
In a health care setting one of the most important factors to consider when thinking about positioning is that the service user feels welcome, comfortable and as though they are being listened to. Therefore they will open up and relax and consequently their diagnosis may be easier to give. For example, if the doctor had their back to the patient and was typing notes on the computer the service user may feel put off and unvalued, this would in turn make the practioners task harder as the client may reserve the most important information as it may be embarrassing and they don’t want to tell someone who they believe isn’t paying much attention. In this sense, this type of positioning will inhibit effective communication in a health care setting. 
In a social care setting it is important to make sure that the service provider is positioned close to the service user when communication as often elderly people rely on lip reading to understand what is being said. If this is not done then the elderly person may begin to feel frustrated as they cannot comprehend what is going on. Therefore they may take their anger out on the service provider and become bitter towards them – this makes the service provider’s job more difficult because it is not a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and making a connection or relationship with the elderly person will be a harder more time consuming task from there on in, showing how bad positioning can be an inhibiting factor in a social care setting.
In an early years setting, it is important that the service provider comes down to the service user (child’s) level so they don’t feel intimidated and as though they are on a completely different wave length to the person taking care of them. If this weren’t to happen the child may not connect and make a bond with the service provider and so not come to them when they had a problem. Therefore the service user would not be valued and supported and the service provider would not be doing their job properly. It may also affect the child’s health and well-being or emotional development as they feel they have to deal with this issue which is worrying them alone.

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