Conversational education

Telling stories

Peer navigation relies heavily on an approach known as informal education. In this approach, education happens during ordinary conversation.

Ordinary conversation normally involves taking relatively short turns to speak. So telling your story doesn’t mean taking a single, very long speaking turn, telling the story from beginning to end. Your client is free to interject, ask questions, get bored… exactly the way a friend, acquaintance or family member might do. This reflects the peer relationship where client and worker are seen as equals.

So disclosures (telling your stories) are usually quite fast, seizing the opportunity in a flowing conversation, and they need to be relevant to the client’s needs.

There are times when a longer story or conversational turn can be appropriate. There are also clients who need to be encouraged to speak. You can watch for cues (verbal and nonverbal signals) from the client regarding their preferences.

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