Good Communication Matters!
- Assertive communication is a clear and firm, but not aggressive way to explain your problem.
- Good communication helps everyone.
- Rosa Miller comments about how great it was that her family and her doctor communicated so well.
"Yeah, well, Dr. Palmer wanted to make sure and the family fell in love with him because he was so good to me. That we adopted him, and so he likes the idea of being adopted."
- How do I communicate better with my provider?
- You need to feel free to speak up and be assertive about what is happening to you.
- Use clear statements.
- Don't make the listener feel defensive.
- Using “Why?” questions typically makes the listener feel defensive, guilty, etc …
- Why are you late getting home?
- Frequently uses “I Messages”
- Part 1: choose one:
- “I feel”, “I am”, or “I have”
- Usually the most difficult for AI/ANs to use
- Most AI/AN cultures teach us to not emphasize ourselves too much
- “I messages” are usually identified with non-Native cultures and are too focused on one’s self
- … rather than your family and community
- BUT, you are probably talking to a provider who needs you to ask questions in a way that s/he can understand.
- “I messages” are usually good ways to help your provider understand what you need.
- When you have cancer, you do need to figure out how YOU personally feel about YOUR OWN health.
- “I feel”
- “I am”
- “I have”
- Now add a description of how you feel
- Confident that I will beat this disease
- A lot to live for
- No passion or enjoyment of life
- A good perspective of life
- Close to the Creator/God
- Out of balance
- Unable to focus or concentrate
- Alert and well focused
- Fuzzy, muddled … mush brained
- Part 2: “When” Choose one:
- I see you and …
- I come to the clinic and …
- I talk with you and ….
- I ask you questions and …
- I talk about ….
- I am at work and …
- I smell food
- I stand up
- I walk around
- I forget to eat
- I work too many hours
- I clean house
- I have a headache
- I have a stomachache
- I have diarrhea
- I have a bad taste in my mouth
- I have aches in my joints
- I have a pain
- Part 3: “I want” or “I need” Choose one:
- Something to control my upset stomach
- Something to relieve my pain
- Something to give me more energy
- Something to control my bowels
- You to talk with my family
- You to listen to my story without writing things or doing something else
- Someone to explain what you’re saying in my native language
- To speak slower
- To write down the medical words for me
- To explain the medical words so that I can understand them
- Relief for the way I am feeling
- To get the best cancer care that exists
- Part 4: “because” -- Choose one:
- It is making me so frustrated that I forget to take my medicines.
- My family is worried about me.
- My boss is ready to fire me.
- I need to feel well enough to do ceremony this summer.
- I want to enjoy daily life again.
- I am unable to do the things I used to enjoy
- I am becoming so grouchy that my family is mad at me
- I am tired of running to the bathroom
- I am tired of not being able to sleep through the night
- Part 1: “I feel” or “I am” or “I have”…
- Part 2: …“when”…
- Part 3: … “I want”…
- Part 4: … “because”…
- I-messages are statements containing three or four key parts that can be put together and said to communicate assertively. Here are the key parts of an I-message:
- Here is an example of an I-message:
- “I feel frightened when you use big medical words. I want you to speak slower and use smaller words because English is my second language.”