Friday, February 12, 2016

How you say it ...

In the last post, I wrote about body language.  How we present ourselves to our new patients and their families and our ongoing caseload of patients will lay the foundation for effective pastoral care visits.  Coupled with body language is our speech.  


Professor Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the understanding of communications since the 1960s. He received his PhD from Clark University and in l964 began an extended career of teaching and research at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Mehrabian's findings were:

  • 7% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
  • 38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
  • 55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.
    As you know, in hospice chaplaincy how you say your words is just as important as what words you say.  You convey your meaning non-verbally with your body language and amplify that with your voice. 
    It is helpful to have examples so we can actually hear how a voice should sound.  The Guardian has an instructive site that provides examples of what someone should sound like to engage, to calm and to soothe.  These are three of the many tasks a Chaplain performs in pastoral care chaplaincy.  Please go to to listen to the examples.
    I hope you are gaining insight regarding the skills required to convey our meanings to our patients and their families.  This will help us to connect with them quickly and start the spiritual care relationships on a solid foundation. 

No comments: