Our path through the ASWB exam content outline continues with this: Verbal and nonverbal communication techniques. Let's examine the topic and how it may appear on the social work licensing exam.

Verbal Communication Techniques

Verbal communication involves using language to convey information, ideas, and emotions. Effective verbal communication is essential for expressing thoughts clearly, listening actively, and building relationships. Examples:

  • Active Listening: Focus on the speaker, provide feedback, and ask relevant questions to demonstrate understanding.
  • Clarity and Conciseness: Use clear and straightforward language to convey your message effectively.
  • Empathy: Show understanding and compassion towards others' feelings and perspectives.
  • Tone of Voice: Adjust your tone to match the context and convey the intended emotion or emphasis.
  • Assertiveness: Express your thoughts, opinions, and needs confidently while respecting others.
  • Paraphrasing: Repeat what the speaker said in your own words to ensure understanding and clarify any confusion.
  • Open-ended Questions: Encourage dialogue and deeper conversations by asking questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer.
  • Summarizing: Recap key points of a conversation or presentation to reinforce understanding and highlight important information.
  • Avoiding Jargon: Use language that is understandable to your audience, avoiding technical terms or industry-specific jargon when communicating with non-experts.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Provide encouragement and positive feedback to reinforce desired behaviors or outcomes.

Nonverbal Communication Techniques

Nonverbal communication refers to the transmission of messages or signals without the use of words, typically through body language, facial expressions, gestures, posture, tone of voice, and other non-linguistic cues. Examples:

  • Eye Contact: Maintain appropriate eye contact to convey attentiveness and interest in the conversation.
  • Facial Expressions: Use facial expressions to convey emotions and reinforce verbal messages (eg surprise, delight, disgust, concern).
  • Body Language: Pay attention to your posture, gestures, and movements to convey confidence and openness.
  • Proximity: Adjust your distance from others based on cultural norms and personal comfort to signal intimacy or formality.
  • Touch: Use appropriate touch to convey warmth, support, or empathy, depending on the cultural context and relationship with the person.
  • Gestures: Use hand gestures sparingly to emphasize key points or add clarity to your message.
  • Mirroring: Subtly mimic the body language of the person you're communicating with to build rapport and establish a connection.
  • Silence: Allow for pauses in conversation to give others time to process information or formulate their responses.
  • Dress and Appearance: Present yourself professionally and appropriately for the context to convey credibility and respect.

On the Exam

This is fairly uncomplicated content. How might the ASWB work it into exam questions?

  • During a counseling session, a client begins to fidget and avoids making eye contact when discussing a particular topic. What might this nonverbal behavior indicate?
  • In a group therapy session, a client expresses anger towards another group member. Which communication technique would be most appropriate for the social worker to use in this situation?
  • Which of the following is an example of active listening?

Get questions on this topic and many, many others with SWTP's full-length practice tests.

Okay, I'm Ready.

March 22, 2024
Categories :