As a physician in one of the most diverse cities in the United States I often communicate with families with the help of an interpreter. Some see the language barrier as a compromise and a challenge.
But it’s really an opportunity.
What we fail to achieve with use of words we can bridge with non-verbal communication. Expression, touch, tone, and animation will carry you a long way in making a connection.
When forced to flex our non-verbal muscles they become stronger reinforcements for later challenges. Like situations in our own native tongue when we just can’t make that connection.
And my secret weapon: The whiteboard. The place where arrows, lines, simple stomachs and colons cross all languages and cultures.
What’s your secret weapon for bridging the language barrier?
If you like this you might get a kick out of Doctoring 101, our tag that marks all the posts on 33 charts that deal with the tips and tricks of providing care. Click through and poke around. Every post has tags down at the bottom. They help you find other blog posts specifically in the same area of interest as the one you’re reading. They are in a small font so that things aren’t to busy looking to your eyes. Enjoy.