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Caregivers Needs



Non verbal communication
Non verbal communication
327,911 Negative Body Language Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock (istockphoto.co

This module underlines the importance of understanding of non-verbal communication (nuances of body language, signing, visual images and the appropriate use of touch).

We often take core skills - which include English (or partner language), number and digital skills - for granted, but research suggests many adult social care staff may need support with the core skills they use in their day to day roles. Quality is a key driver in the adult social care sector so everyone needs to be able to read, understand and follow instructions, carry out tasks with the right degree of precision, keep numerical and written records and be able to handle basic numbers and calculations. Caregivers at all levels need good speaking and listening skills to express themselves clearly, actively listen to others and react appropriately to what they hear and see.

This module puts caregivers ina position with non-verbal situations, to make them react and understand what it means.


Communication & tasks
Communication & tasks

Observe carefully the following picture. Then put the feelings inside the boxes below (follow the same order for boxes as the pictures have).



(sicken of)


(something interesting)




(extra happiness)


(I don’t believe you)



Even though the meanings of facial expressions may vary in different cultures, there are six main types that are the same in all cultures:

  • Happiness (sincere broad smile, raised cheeks, round eyes)
  • Anger (lowered eyebrow, tightly pursed lips, intensive stare)
  • Surprise (wide open eyes, open mouth, raised eyebrows)
  • Fear (open mouth, round eyes, pale face)
  • Disgust (wrinkled nose, raised upper lip, lowered eyelids)
  • Sadness (lowered corners of mouth, sad eyes)

Eye contact: It is an important feature of social communication. A fair degree of eye contact is viewed as a sign of a person’s openness, honesty and trust. In interpersonal relationships looking away is often perceived as deviousness and avoidance, while gaze holding, decreased blinking rate and dilated eye pupils show our interest in a partner.


Touch. The way one person touches another can tell a great deal of information. Even a handshake can tell a lot about the individual’s character and social position. In most interpersonal relationships touching can (arm pat) expresses tenderness, give encouragement and show emotional support.


Distance and Personal space. There are two main types of distance: horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal distance determines the distance, which people intuitively feel comfortable with when approaching other and having others approach them. The more we get to know the person and the more we like them, the closer we permit them into our personal space.
  • Vertical distance often indicates a degree of dominance and sub ordinance in the relationship.


Appearance plays an important role in non-verbal communication. Clothes, makeup, accessories, hairstyle choice may be signals relating to person’s individuality, status, occupation and even attractiveness. People we find attractive are perceived as more credible, sociable, successful, interesting, sensitive, kind and popular. However, forming stereotypes based on other people’s physical characteristics and attractiveness may lead to false assumptions and communication barriers.

Voice: Experimental findings suggest that people tend to listen more attentively to men with deep, low voices and resonant tones as these vocal cues are associated with strength, sexiness and self-confidence. High pitch voices are associated with rage, nervousness and helplessness, while despair and depression is often vocalized by a lower pitch and slower word pace. People who speak very loud are often perceived by others as aggressive, overbearing and uncompromising. Soft spoken people are viewed as timid, polite and unsure of themselves.


Silence is also viewed as a part of non-verbal communication that depending on the situation and usage can influence conversation in a positive or negative way. On one hand silence may create tension and uneasiness, while on the other it may give another person time to collect his thoughts and calm down. Silence can also be an indicator of agreement or disagreement, depending on other non-verbal aspects such as facial expression, body language or eye contact.



It is better way to implement this module in groups of participants in order to stimulate interaction between caregivers on their reactions to non-verbal communication situations.

Process: Just get them together, make them look at the faces and ask them for their answers and ask the following questions:

What is the answer?

What for?

Have you experienced an identical situation? If so, how did you react?

Can you think and name some expressions that you may use locally (country – region)?



Caregivers need to be able to adapt their communication method to beneficiaries and (if necessary) need to be able to simplify information and pay attention of understanding of beneficiaries Improved core skills can help people avoid unnecessary mistakes and can make your organisation a safer and more efficient place to work. This in turn improves the outcome for people who need care and support.

This module is an interactive way to acquire knowledge of non-verbal situations and yo share experience on them.


Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to have a verbal and non-verbal communication with target groups and connect them effectively with others and external duties (routine paperwork, …).
  • Ability to understand and apply knowledge of human communication and language processes as they occur across various contexts, e.g., interpersonal, intrapersonal, small group, organisational, gender, family, intercultural communication, technologically
  • Ability to find the appropriate communication (verbal and non-verbal) with beneficiaries to create mutual trust.

Knowledge acquired

  • Learning the importance of non-verbal communication and learn how to adapt their communication methods to beneficiaries and their needs.

Skills acquired

  • Ability to detect non-verbal communication
  • Ability to communicate clearly, to have active listening skills, to simplify information and improve their core skills.

Competences acquired

  • Ability to pay attention of understanding of beneficiaries. Adapt the communication methods in a creative and appropriate way to express meaning.
  • Ability to share professional and personal experience.