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MCH Leadership Competencies

Competency 5: Communication

DEFINITION

Communication is the verbal, nonverbal, and written sharing of information. The communication process consists of a sender who develops and presents the message and the receiver who works to understand the message. Communication involves both the message (what is being said) and the delivery method (how the message is presented). Health communication is vital for influencing behavior that can lead to improved health.

Skillful communication is the ability to convey information to and receive information from others effectively. It includes essential components of attentive listening and clarity in writing or speaking for a variety of audiences. Other forms of communication, such as body language and tone, are equally important. An understanding of the impact of culture, language, literacy level, and disability on communication between MCH professionals and the individuals, families, and populations they serve is also important.

KNOWLEDGE AREAS

MCH leaders will demonstrate a working knowledge of:

  • Principles of communication for all modalities, including verbal, written, and nonverbal, in various practice, policy, and research settings.
  • Approaches to overcome communication challenges, such as literacy levels, disability, cultural meanings, language differences, professional terms, and acronyms.

SKILLS

Foundational. At a foundational level, MCH leaders will:

  1. Share thoughts, ideas, and feelings effectively and with cultural and linguistic proficiency in discussions, meetings, and presentations with individuals and diverse groups.
  2. Write clearly, effectively, and with cultural and linguistic proficiency to express information about issues and services that affect MCH population groups.
  3. Understand nonverbal communication cues in self and others.
  4. Listen attentively and actively.
  5. Tailor information for the intended audience(s), purpose, and context by using appropriate communication messaging. Audiences can include consumers, policymakers, clinicians, and the public.
  6. Advanced. Building on the foundational skills, MCH leaders will:
  7. Demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly through effective presentations and written scholarship about MCH populations, issues, and/or services.
  8. Employ a repertoire of communication skills that includes disseminating information in a crisis, relaying difficult news, and explaining opportunities and risks for health promotion and disease prevention.
  9. Summarize complex information appropriately for a variety of audiences and contexts

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