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Queensland Stay On Your Feet® - Toolkit Phase 3 Communicating

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Communicating

Communication is a two way process that involves the exchange of information. Communication can occur between two or more people with the sender and the receiver both interpreting the meaning of the message [143, 144].
Communicating involves more than telling people about your project/program. It includes talking, listening, body language, consultation and exchanging information and ideas [22]. It also includes using communication to effectively engage people, develop partnerships and good working relationships, market your message and to share and celebrate your success.
It is an active process that occurs through:

  • saying words and listening (verbal)
  • tone or loudness of your voice
  • eye contact and body language (non-verbal)
  • writing and other visual mediums (music, film) [143].

When you are communicating:

  • identify your communication objective (what do you want the receiver to do, think and feel?) [145]
  • know your audience (what do they need to know and how do they like to receive information?) [146]
  • identify what you need to know from them [22]
  • determine what information has the greatest value to help achieve your goals and objectives [146]
  • work out how you will communicate the message with individuals, organisations and the community [22, 146].
  • What is important is not what is best for you, but what is best for the audience. You need to think about who you are communicating with [22].

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Benefits of communication

Communicating well is the foundation of your project/program. The lack of communication is often given as a reason why things go wrong [143, 144].

Communicating well will help to increase and improve the project/program's:

  • adoption - the number of settings, organisations and stakeholders involved [89, 90]
  • reach - the number of individuals who participate [89, 90, 93]
  • implementation - whether implementation has been effective or ineffective [89, 93]
  • sustainability - maintaining the project/program
  • sharing of results, learnings and experiences.

Communication and falls prevention

The communication goal for falls prevention projects/programs is to encourage change in individuals, organisations and the community to reduce falls and adopt healthy active ageing. The types of changes include awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviour, the environment, policies and practice.
To achieve change throughout your project/program, you need to communicate at a variety of levels. These are:

  • intrapersonal (building your own knowledge and understanding) [143, 144]
  • interpersonal (communicating with others eg. project/program team members and stakeholders) [143, 144]
  • small groups eg. recreation, sporting and social groups
  • large groups eg. workplaces [144]
  • mass communication (communicating to the whole community or population) [144].

For example, the Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project used a range of communication tools to reach people at different levels, including through:

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Last updated: 7 August 2012