ARGYLE COMMUNICATION CYCLE IN HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE
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A communication cycle is defined as the simple process of transmitting the thoughts of an individual (the sender) to any other person (the receiver), through various means of communication to garner an appropriate response from the one for whom the message was intended.
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The communication cycle, initially conceptualized by Charles Berner (1965), was improvised by a well-known English social psychologist, Michael Argyle in 1972. He proposed the Argyle Communication Cycle in Health & Social Care which states that effective communication that occurs between two people is a two-way-process. According to him, the communication cycle is completed when the sender understands what he is saying, reflect on it, and learn from what the receiver has to say about the message delivered.
STAGES IN THE ARGYLE COMMUNICATIONS CYCLE IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
Argyle’s theory of communication talks about six key stages that form a part of the cycle which are described as below:
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 1:
Organize your thoughts: The first step is to collect/write your thoughts and narrow them down to the key message you want to communicate. Ask yourself, what message are you trying to send and to whom? What do want to achieve by that? What do you want your receiver to do with this message?
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 2:
Compose your message: The second stage is to compose your message after you have organised your thoughts. You can do so by asking basic questions such as, how can you efficiently convey the message? Does your receiver have any background knowledge on your communication topic?
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 3:
Send your message: The whole purpose of this exercise was to send the message to the receiver. In this stage, the other person to whom you want to communicate has received the message. It shows that you were finally able to collect, compose and send your thoughts to the other person.
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 4:
Message received: – when the other person receives message
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 5:
Receiver Decodes the message: This is the stage where the person for whom the message was intended tries to make sense of the message. You, as sender, don’t have much role to play here, as the arrow has been shot. Now the ball is in the receiver’s court.
ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION CYCLE STAGE 6:
Understanding message/feedback: As per Argyle communication cycle in health ; social care, it is the most crucial stage. Here, you get to know what your receiver thinks about your message. Respect the message you receive from the receiver, good or bad. It will help you learn about the shortcomings of your communication and grow. See whether you need to re-communicate the message? Identify ways in which you can improve (ask for help from colleagues or conduct a survey).
In short, Argyle stated that skilled interpersonal communication involves a cycle involving constant translation and decoding of what others are saying, and simultaneously adapting one’s behaviour to communicate effectively.
The whole of Argyle’s communication cycle can be summed up as follows:
1. Occurrence of Idea – when a thought occurs
2. Coding the message – when you turn your thought into communication
3. Sending the message – when you deliver message to another person
4. Receiving the message – when the other person receives message
5. Decoding the message – when receiver makes sense of your message
6. Understanding the message/feedback – when your message is successfully understood, if not, the receiver provides you feedback
IMPACT OF ARGYLE THEORY IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SETTINGS
Argyle’s Communication cycle can be of great use to health and social care workers. It enables them to work on their communication skills by making them understand what constitutes a good communication. As per Argyle communication cycle health & social care, with the help of interpersonal interaction, a successful relationship can be built among healthcare users and healthcare providers. A successful communication improves the quality of healthcare besides fastening patient’s recovery process (Barry ; Edgman-Levitan, 2012).
KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN ARGYLES COMMUNICATION CYCLE IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SETTINGS
Many factors are responsible for influencing interpersonal communication. One such factor is environment, the place where the message is being transmitted. For instance, when a health worker communicates with a patient or his family, noise in the background may affect the efficiency of what is being said. Lack of proper lighting and good seating arrangement can also hamper communication.
Internal factors too come in way of the spirit of communication. While interacting with a social care group, it is imperative that people in the group are attentive to what is being said. Their good listening skills will result in enhanced efficiency of the communication (Brach et al., 2012). Another major communication barrier is the language preferences. This obstacle is often faced by health care providers while dealing with aboriginal culture patients. In another communication cycle example, a patient may not be in a condition to understand the medical terminologies used by healthcare professional.
Contrastingly, communication (non-verbal skills) required while dealing with a healthcare professional at higher level include displaying traits such as obedience and respect while verbal skills may involve usage of medical terminologies for increasing the communication efficiency. Successful communication also involves using appropriate forms at appropriate places, including signing, use of technology and symbols. (Ingleby, 2012). Research based on Argyle communication cycle in health ; social care shows that non-verbal signals can be more useful tools to communicate than the verbal communication.
PROS AND CONS OF ARGYLE’S COMMUNICATION THEORY
One of the main advantages of one on one communication in Argyle Theory is that you are communicating the message directly with the receiver. A disadvantage is that there is a possibility of the message going wrong. A clear example of it in the health and social care setting can be a counsellor or professional not able to understand the patient or the person concerned clearly as they themselves are not clear of what they want to say.
Sign language is another kind of communication linked with Argyle’s Communication cycle 1972, wherein a message is in the process of being put across and understood. The message is hard to convey if sign language is involved, as the receiver may not be able to understand sign language completely. An advantage of sign language is the receiver may completely understand what you are saying with the sign, while the weakness could be receiver missing the message as he is not aware of the sign language. An example in health and social care setting could be, a hearing-impaired individual communicating with a doctor through sign language about his illness.
Written communication is another factor linking in with the Argyle communication cycle health ; social care. The message here may be sent and received through email, letter or text. The message might be easily understood but is not understood in the absence of wrongly worded text. An example in a health and social care setting could be, a hospital mailing letter to a patient informing them about their scheduled appointment. The patient may not understand the message if the text of the letter or mail is not appropriate or if the handwriting is not clear.
To conclude, it would be apt to say that a positive of the Argyle Theory is that the message is completely understood. A weakness is that the receiver may not be aware of various kinds communication. For instance, a person may not know sign language. Thus, the sender attempting to send a message through sign language may not successfully make the receiver understand the message that is being sent.