Relationship Issues and Interpersonal Skills in Consultation

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Relationship Issues and Interpersonal Skills in Consultation Powered By Docstoc
					Relationship Issues in CBC
Ed Psy 958B October 7, 1999 Sheridan

Personal Reflection
 How

do you define your role as a consultant, within the consultation relationship?  What are some important things to keep in mind about your role and the relationship?


Consultation as a Relationship
Consultation can be considered a reciprocal, interactive activity between two or more persons…  Each consultation session is a unique human interaction.  Although there are common features (e.g., roles, objectives, procedures), each consultation interaction is as diverse and unique as the persons involved.

The Consultation Relationship
Considered by some to be an “expert” model -Pros?? Cons??


The Expert Consultant
Pros:  Increases likelihood of effectiveness  Increases credibility Cons:  Requires extensive knowledge base; has limits  Limits equality between participants  Takes responsibility off of consultees; limits “empowerment”

The Consultation Relationship
Problems with the“all-expert approach”
1. Can reduce control consultees have over their own decisions -- must remain voluntary! 2. Can undermine the acquisition of new skills or maintenance of old ones. 3. Can undermine the perceived self-efficacy of consultees when it is implied that they are incapable of solving problems on their own. 4. Can cause consultees to attribute successful outcomes to consultants. (Schectman, 1979)

The Consultation Relationship


Clearly considered to be collegial by Sheridan, Kratochwill, & Bergan Extent to which consultation relationships are “collaborative” is debated (Witt; Erchul)
 


many consider consultants to “control” consultation exchanges, thereby precluding collaboration in CBC, there is no clear dominance exhibited by any participant -consultants tend to make more attempts to structure the communication, but consultees have much influence in the relationship (Erchul et al., in press) high levels of collaboration and meaningful effect sizes are apparent in CBC (Sheridan, 1998)


What do we mean when we say “collaboration?”

Factors Influencing the Consultation Relationship
Congruence or incongruence regarding expectations.  Clarity or lack of clarity regarding roles.  Professional and personal reference points.  Theoretical orientations of participants.  Many are beyond the consultant’s direct control, however consultant must try to adopt alternative perspectives to understand consultees

what is their life experience and how does this affect their perceptions expectations, an interactions? how is the problem perceived and interpreted by the consultee?


Importance of the Relationship
Some have argued that the “key” to successful consultation is the relationship between parties (Idol; Conoley).  “Key” is more likely double-sided; competence and expertise are also critical.  Good interpersonal skills are important for rapport, but they are not sufficient to provide solutions to presenting problems or to alleviate behavioral concerns.

“Problem-solving does not take place when consultants communicate well; it occurs when consultees manage the client’s identified problem more effectively.”

Personal Characteristics of the Consultant and Consultee
 


Personal variables of consultant and consultee contribute to the relationship, and to the outcome of consultation. The interaction between consultant and consultee variables, and the consultative relationship, are manifested in the consultation interview. The interview/relationship is the primary mechanism by which consultee needs and problems are meshed with consultant expertise.


Considerations when Entering a Consultation Relationship

There are many ways to define “success”

What do you consider a successful consultation experience?

 

 

You are not alone in the system! An important skill is making implicit perceptions and expectations explicit. Conflict is not bad, but it must be managed. It is important to develop a broad response repertoire, or diverse ways to respond to varying social and interpersonal overtures.

What are Some Characteristics of an Effective Consultant??
Knowledgeable  Experienced in consultation

behavior target

Empathic re: situation  Professional persona  Enthusiastic, optimistic, positive demeanor  Good listener  Flexible  Good communicator, teacher


Prerequisites for Effective Interactions
Self-Awareness & Ability to Understand Others
 Frame

of Reference  Listening  Nonverbal Communication  Relationship Building

Self-Awareness Activity
Complete the “Consultation Relationship SelfRating Checklist,: covering personal perceptions of competence, power, and intimacy  Identify those areas that are strengths for you and those that may be difficulties for you  What might you do to build upon your strengths and address your areas of improvement?


Frame of Reference
What individuals bring to the consultation situation independent of the situation itself  Based on past experiences, attitudes and beliefs, personal qualities, feelings and expectations, cultural and social norms, level of acculturation  Professional socialization also contributes to frame of reference, and includes theoretical orientations, nature of role, knowledge base


Frames of Reference
Personal frames of reference (perspectives, “world views”) contribute to what one attends to in the interaction (“selective perception”), how one interprets situations, and the manner and degree to which one responds  Serves to filter or obscure some information and focus attention on other information

Biases in one’s frame of reference enhance or inhibit perceptions and understanding of the others’ situation

Frame of Reference
It is important to become aware of your frame of reference and learn to consider multiple frames of reference by constantly challenging yourself to develop alternative explanations for others’ statements

Perspective-taking Activity….

  

The ability of consultants to capture and understand consultees’ messages. The goal is understanding! Another purpose of listening is to establish rapport
 Listening

demonstrates concern and a desire to understand the person and situation  Allows you to demonstrate understanding, which is important in relationship building

Factors that Interfere with Effective Listening
 Rehearsing

a response  Drifting or daydreaming  Stumbling on “hot” words  Filtering messages (tuning out)  Being distracted by extraneous details or distractions

Listening Skills
C: Clarifying A: Attending P: Paraphrasing S: Summarizing

Clarifying: Providing Open Invitations to Talk
 The

consultant uses open questions:

to elicit examples of specific behaviors resulting in a better understanding of what is being described by the consultee  carefully and selectively to encourage consultee elaboration, thereby gaining additional pertinent information on specific points

Clarifying: Providing Open Invitations
to Talk

Questions should be selected carefully to:
encourage consultee expressiveness  allow a clear and comprehensive picture of the situation  increase the consultee’s active participation  decrease resistance and defensiveness by trying to understand


The goal is to hear and understand the consultee, not to use questions in a rote and mechanical fashion.

Clarifying: Providing Open Invitations to
Open Invitations (Open Questions):  help begin an interview (e.g.?)  encourage consultees to elaborate on a specific point (e.g.?)  help elicit examples of specific behavior (e.g.?)  allow consultant to better understand what is being described by consultee  allow consultant to retain “control” of the interview, but convey the fact that the relationship is also important

The consultant is effectively within the interview, demonstrated by listening carefully and remaining attentive to the consultee.  The consultant follows what the consultee is saying and does not interrupt or jump from subject to subject (i.e., pursues issues when they arise, and stays with them for a sufficient and appropriate amount of time).


Strategies used to orient toward the consultee; suggests “presence.” S: Sit squarely H: Have an open posture A: Acknowledge R: Relax E: Engage using Eye communication


 

Restating in one’s own words the main points of consultee’s statements. Conveys understanding. Repeats essence of message (“You’re telling me that...”). Promotes consultee decision-making. Encourages elaboration.


 

 

A collection of two or more paraphrases or reflections based on critical dimensions of consultee’s statements. Focuses interview by condensing and clarifying what was said. Identifies common theme. Moderates pace of interview and reviews progress. Serves as transitional statement.

Advanced Relationship Skills
G: R: A: C: E: Genuineness Respect Acceptance Concreteness Empathy

How can these “advanced relationship skills” be conveyed? Are they important with parents? Why?

Nonverbal Communication
The importance of nonverbals must be recognized!  The full impact of a person’s spoken message: 7% verbal components, 38% vocal components (volume, pitch, rhythm), 55% facial expression

Nonverbal behaviors:
Confirm or disconfirm what is being said verbally  Deny or confuse what is being said verbally  Strengthen or emphasize verbal statements  Control or regulate conversation


Nonverbal Communication
Four Primary Classes:

Body Movements
nods, expressions, eye contact  “One picture is worth a thousand words”
 gestures,

Vocal Cues
 paralanguage:

the vocal, rather than verbal, component of language  includes tone, pitch, silence 33

Nonverbal Communication
Four Primary Classes:
Spatial Relations
 physical

distance; how space is used  intimate, personal, social, public zones -- the more space between interactants, the less their intimacy

Minimal Encouragers
 indicate

listening and invite continued communication  uh-huh, hmmm, okay


Silence as a Communication Tool
The definition of “silence” is relative to each conversation’s tempo and patterns of speech  Alternatives to silence: interruptions, talkovers, reduced verbal spacing, thoughtless verbalizations to “fill silence”  Try to develop a habit of protecting verbal space; avoid verbal crowding  Use your own silence as an opportunity for collecting your thoughts and directing the interview