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Theories of communication
Starting with Argyle
Effective communication
• Effective communication is a 2 way
• Each person tries to understand the view
point of the other
• Checks understanding
Michael Argyle (1972)
• Interpersonal communication was a
learned skill, the same as driving
• How you drive your car will depend on
what is happening on the road
Cycle involves:
• Watching the road
• Working out how to respond
• Making responses
• Repeating until destination is reached
Communication cycle
• Communicating involves a cycle in which
you have to translate what others are
• Adapt your own behaviour in order to
communicate back
Communication cycle
• The communication cycle has 6 stages.
• The communication cycle is like a code
that needs to be translated
• For example:
A patient has an idea
Thinks about how they are going to say it
Asks the question
The carer listens
Carer interprets
Carer feedbacks to check understanding
Stage 1
The patient has an idea
Stage 2
• The message is coded
This means that the patient thinks about
what they are going to say verbally or
using non verbal communication
Stage 3
The message is sent
Patient speaks, writes, signs or sends
message in some other way
Stage 4
The message is received
The carer receives the message either by
hearing the words, reading or watching
Stage 5
The message is decoded
The carer decodes or interprets the patients
(this can be hard as carer may make own
assumptions of body language or words
Stage 6
The message is understood
The patient’s ideas will be understood by
This is effective communication
This does not always happen the first time
Why the communication cycle is
• Who in health and social care is
vulnerable to being misunderstood?
• Why?
• How does the communication cycle help?
• Write a small written piece which
discusses the communication cycle in
health and social care
• Why is it important
• What could go wrong