Cultivating Communication with HASA - Hearing and Speech Agency

Cultivating Communication with HASA

#CommunicationMatters, no matter the setting! Earlier this year, HASA’s External Relations team presented at the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Farmer’s Market Conference, a gathering of farmers and farmers market managers to learn new skills, talk through challenges, and connect on the topic of farmers markets in Maryland.

To expand the market (no pun intended) of shoppers interested in farmers markets, attendees learned some basic communication strategies to make their stands and markets more inclusive for all, regardless of communication needs or preferences. The great news: none of these tips are farmers market-specific! Add the strategies below to your communication toolkit to improve your day-to-day personal and professional interactions.

 

1. Make eye contact.

This lets your communication partner know you are talking to them and shows you are focused on the interaction. For all individuals, eye contact can facilitate clearer communication.

2. Practice alternative communication strategies.

Don’t rely only on speaking. Keep a pen and paper handy or grab your phone to type a quick message. And don’t underestimate the power of gesturing! If someone asks for directions or information, pointing to a sign or a map can be an effective way to communicate your message. If you find yourself interacting with ASL-users, consider learning a few basic signs. HASA offers introductory ASL classes that can be customized to your needs, for more info click HERE.

3. Repeat yourself if necessary.

If someone asks you to repeat yourself, try to rephrase or reword what you said to give more context clues. DON’T over-exaggerate, over-pronounce, or speak slowly unless your conversation partner asks specifically.  

4. Be patient!

It can take a few moments of trial and error to figure out the best way to communicate with someone new. By practicing good communication habits in all interactions, you’ll be ready to communicate with almost anyone, regardless of the situation.

 

Want to learn more about communication access and/or customized trainings for your organization? Contact Lauren Albers Denhart, Community Engagement Manager at lalbers@hasa.org.

 

 

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