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[Light instrumental music] Verbal communication refers to speech. Within speech, the content or the words themselves have an intended meaning. An additional dimension of meaning is also involved which relates to the way the words are delivered in volume, pitch, tone, and rate. This is also termed "paralanguage." Effective spoken communication requires the appropriate selection of both content and delivery. The content expressed should have clarity, purpose, and meaning to the receiver appropriate to their background and knowledge. The delivery, or paralanguage, used is an even more important consideration. The appropriate tone should be used, preferably one which conveys sincerity, confidence, and respect for the listener. Volume should be suitable, considering the environment, the number of listeners, and the sensitivity of the content. Empathy involves understanding another person's experience from their perspective rather than from your own perspective and being able to convey this understanding to them. Empathy is a vital tool in establishing rapport and building feelings of trust. The key to conveying empathy is the use of active listening. In this process, the receiver of the message checks that they understand what is being said and what may have been omitted. This includes: asking questions to clarify meaning; paraphrasing by stating the message in a shortened version using different words; reflecting the information back, particularly any underlying messages; and summarizing the message. Assertiveness in communication involves stating one's thoughts, feelings, and needs without being aggressive and imposing on those of another person. The aim is to improve the communication process rather than to arouse aggression and create further conflict. The key to conveying appropriate assertiveness is the use of "I" statements. Instead of…...

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