Communication and Social Work

This essay will identify and discuss key communication skills in the context of social work practice. The importance of communication skills will be acknowledged by talking about three different skills of communication. The subjects discussed will be non-verbal communication, effective listening and questions, what these skills are and why they are important.
It is essential for a professional social worker to hold effective communicative skills as one will encounter people from all different walks of life and the aim to treat a service user as an individual and enable empowerment is paramount to meeting a person’s needs. There is also the need to communicate effectively with colleagues, agencies, professional bodies and the accuracy of one’s communication is essential if the possibility of appearing in court was to be encountered.
Communication within social work practise is essential in the way of addressing a person’s needs to enable improvement on one’s quality of life.   Effective communication can build trust, respect and self esteem and this can help a service user to becoming more independent. Good communication skills can also create psychological safety and aid a person to retain and establish links with friends, family and society. (Moonie, 2000).  
Buggins, Cornwall and Cunnane discuss that psychological safety is created in leadership so staff are able to discuss and raise issues that are of concern without fear (2013). Transferring this to the context of a social worker and a service user can enable the service user to engage in a more open conversation with a feeling that one is being viewed as trying to rectify mistakes instead of being seen as incompetent.
There are different elements of communication and a distinct part is non-verbal communication, such as body language, how one dresses, timekeeping for example being too early or too late, touch, distance between people, eye contact and face expression. (Cooper, Lymbery, Ruch and Wilson 2011)...