Brian Trapnell

Brian Trapnell, Director of Human Resources

We all know the value of effective communication, whether talking with a friend about a planned adventure, following up with a co-worker to verify something’s been done or talking with a loved one about an illness. Effective communication is essential to building successful relationships…and our employees have what it takes.

At Halcyon, we’re constantly sharing best practices to help our team grow stronger…

and that includes finding ways to enhance communication across the Halcyon team. A recent presentation to employees focused specifically on how we can effectively communicate with patients, families and each other.

Study after study tells us that 60% of communication is body language, 30% is tone and 10% is verbal. That means 90% of what we communicate has nothing to do with the words we speak but rather how we present ourselves to others and how we manage our tone of voice.

When patients and families come on service with Halcyon, we want them to know that we’re committed to keeping them informed and educated about everything that’s impacting them. We regularly ask ourselves…how can we improve communication among patients, families and each other?

As part of that ongoing learning process, there are a few tips we’ve shared across the Halcyon team:

  • We speak with others the way we would like to be spoken to
  • We look each other in the eye, we’re positive and confident
  • We remember the common courtesies…please, thank you, we greet each other in the hallway, we use correct posture etc.
  • We seek to understand a situation before drawing conclusions
  • We acknowledge and learn from mistakes
  • We understand that perception becomes reality

What’s more, we encourage our employees to remember the GHOST protocol (part of the PULSE conversation, a mediation training resource) and use it in conversations throughout the day:

  • Gentle – say what needs to be said in a gentle way to encourage open dialogue
  • Honest – be up front and let others know our expectations
  • Open – be open to new information and allow it to influence our thinking
  • Specific – provide clarifying examples and avoid generalizations
  • Talk – say what we’re thinking in a professional, courteous way

The GHOST protocol is a great tool for everyday communication…but we’ve also provided tools to help members of the Halcyon team be more effective communicators with patients and families through active listening.

These are the five steps of active listening used by the Halcyon team:

  1. Pay attention
  2. Show that we are listening
  3. Provide feedback
  4. Defer judgment
  5. Respond appropriately

Effective communication is so important…whether it’s remembering the common courtesies and basic tips for effective communication, using the GHOST protocol throughout the day or implementing the steps for active listening…at Halcyon, our team has what it takes to provide great care while making sure patients and families are informed throughout their time with us.

We are truly dedicated to providing the highest quality hospice services for our patients and their families. Learn more about why Halcyon Hospice should be your choice.

Here are the slides for your viewing.