Professional communication is very important in any field, but in the profession of speech-language pathology it is extremely important. As SLP’s we communicate with many different professionals and clients we work with on a daily basis. Here are some tips for making communication professional but still well understood by all:
Try to keep your message clear and to the point; don’t fill it with unnecessary jargon
Keeping language concise and clear versus filling it with “extra-fancy” language will help to get your point across in a clear manner. Using jargon will only make you appear artificial and depending on who you are talking to, will only create confusion.
Written communication: grammar, punctuation, and spelling are still important
In a world of texting where communication is made up of abbreviations and acronyms, professional communication should take on a different appearance altogether. When communicating professionally via email- greetings, closing remarks, proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation are very important. If a message contains a lot of spelling mistakes, misplaced punctuation, or uses poor grammar, this discredits the writer and the reader is less likely to take the writer seriously. As speech-Language pathologists, we want to model accurate grammar, spelling, and punctuation for our clients as solid role models for them.
Keep communication timely
Drawing out responses to questions or information requests, only makes you appear unprofessional or lacking knowledge. Responding to inquiries, questions, or requests within 24 business hours is the best way to keep the lines of communication open.
Be mindful of who you are communicating with
Communication style can certainly change depending on who your audience is. Some factors that affect communication style include: age, culture and nationality, relationship with communication partner (lawyer, team member, client, family member), and cognitive level. Remember to adjust your style to suit your partner’s needs and your communication will be much more meaningful that way.
Following these few tips will keep you on the path to professional communication in all your endeavors.
Linda Saarenvirta is a speech-language pathologist who has been practicing for over 20 years in the healthcare field. She has worked with a variety of communication disorders and clients of all ages. She is extremely passionate about voice therapy and enjoys helping clients achieve their vocal needs. Her client centered approach to therapy ensures all clients maximize their potential and achieve their goals.