Aspiring human services workers who inventory their professional competencies should be able to put communication skills at the top of the list. If you're looking to enter this field, your communication skills must be top-notch, because that's how you deliver much-needed services to your clients. Speaking, listening and writing are qualifications you must have to excel in a profession that requires personal, one-on-one and group interaction.
Who Are Human Services Professionals
Human services professionals often are confused with human resources or human relations professionals, although quite frankly, performing successfully in any of these jobs requires many of the same skills. Nevertheless, human services professionals include social workers, health care providers, community service workers and others who either provide direct services to individuals or guide individuals to resources that provide services. According to the National Organization of Human Services, human services professionals "assist individuals and communities to function as effectively as possible in the major domains of living."
Why Communication Is Important
People in this profession aren't sitting at a desk all day calculating numbers or manufacturing widgets on an assembly line. They're constantly interacting with the public or their clients, whether their clients are individuals or groups. The diverse client base that human services professionals serve require them to communicate effectively with a wide range of people from different races, ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. One of the common bonds among individuals is communication -- verbal and nonverbal. Therefore, human services professionals who can adapt their communication style to suit the client's needs are the most effective.
Communication Based on Client Groups
Some human services professionals may be employees of agencies that assist clients who are deaf or who cannot speak or understand English. In these cases, professionals who are bilingual, multilingual or fluent in American Sign Language have communication skills that enable them to interact effectively with various client groups. The ability to communicate with a client in a language that he understands suggests that the human services professional is sensitive to the client's physical limitations, cultural norms, practices and basic emotional needs.
Support Through Communication
Human services professionals provide support to individuals in need of housing, food, health care and perhaps even spiritual guidance. In all instances, their clients typically seek some kind of support that requires planning and action, according to a 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' report titled, "Helping Those In Need: Human Service Workers." Effective communication with clients can help human services professionals better understand the client's needs and, in turn, come up with a program to meet those needs. Without effective communication skills, planning is useless and action will never occur.
- National Organization for Human Services: What Is Human Services?
- Gallaudet University: Terminology Describing Deaf Individuals
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Helping Those In Need: Human Service Workers
- U.S. National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health: Social Work Practice with Latinos: Key Issues for Social Workers
- Photo Credit View Stock/View Stock/Getty Images
Code of Ethics for Human Service Workers
Many different types of human service workers exist today. A variety of duties are included in the job as well, such as...
Human Services Job Description
The human services field is a broadly defined occupation that meets human needs by improving the quality of life for those it...
What Is Human Services Management?
The term human services management can be confusing. Several different definitions seem to exist. However, in all cases, human services management, in...
- Characteristics of a Human Resource Manager
Challenges of a Human Services Professional
A human services professional is a social worker that devotes his career to helping people who live with challenges. These challenges may...
Functional Resume List of Skill Sets
Skills cover a range of knowledge and talents, stemming from natural abilities or developed through experience, training or education. Employers seek candidates...
- Team Building Activities for Human Service Professionals