Communicating is something we do every day, something that gives us the power to connect with others in meaningful ways. Our ability to communicate clearly and effectively can make all the difference in achieving personal and professional goals. While it is a necessity for daily life, communicating our needs and emotions can sometimes prove to be confusing and difficult. For survivors, a cancer diagnosis can add on new layers of complexity.
In a recent Coping Magazine article, licensed clinical social worker (and frequent Cancer and Careers presenter) Julie Larson provides some great guidance to help navigate through some of these communicating difficulties. Here are our top three takeaways:
- Understanding your own needs and emotions – The first and most important step in communicating your needs and emotions is to know exactly what those needs, and emotions are. What are your most pressing needs? What topics are most triggering for you? Identifying and understanding these things can help you be better prepared and more in control when certain situations arise.
- Finding support – Where would we be without a little help from our friends? When things start to feel overwhelming, talking things through with a confidant may be just what you need. Of course, it is important to acknowledge and understand that the way people respond can vary on the person. Knowing who to go to for certain needs can help increase the likelihood of your needs being met and protect you emotionally in the long run.
- Remembering this is a process – Your needs and emotions can and will change over time. Communicating those needs and emotions does not need to be limited to a single conversation, it is something that is constantly evolving. The conversations you have with your healthcare teams, family and friends are vital in shaping your cancer experience. Communicating effectively can make all the difference.
For additional tips on communicating effectively at work, check out our archived webinar presentation, Communicating Effectively: Tips & Techniques, part of our Balancing Work and Cancer webinar series. Julie Larson will also be leading a session on Managing Long Term Stress taking place Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Following that, we have 11 more upcoming webinars addressing the various challenges of balancing work and cancer; whether you are looking for work or currently working. Additionally, make sure to consult the At Work and Looking for Work sections of our website. And be sure to check out our free tools and publications.