Communication skills coaching and simulation

What is communication skills coaching?

Communication skills coaching is a practical, structured process in which a trained coach helps staff on a one to one basis to develop or enhance their skills to communicate more effectively with patients, families and colleagues in the workplace.

The main objectives of communication skills coaching are to:

  • help staff examine their communication skills and identify which skills they would like to improve on
  • assist staff to gain more insight into how their communication skills impact on them and on others
  • encourage and support staff develop and enhance their communication skills.

How does it work?

Staff can self-refer for communication skills coaching using the Request for Coaching Form (Self-Referral). Staff can also be referred for communication skills coaching by their line manager/clinical director using the Request for Coaching Form (Referral from line manager). Line managers/clinical directors who are referring staff members must discuss this referral with the staff member concerned and provide them with a completed, signed copy of the Referral Form.

A communication skills coach will meet with the individual over a number of sessions, usually 4 to 6 sessions, and will go through the Calgary-Cambridge Guide for communication skills with the individual, allowing them to work through their communication skills in a structured way.

Calgary-Cambridge Guide (PDF, 625 KB, 2 pages)

What is a simulation session?

The simulation session is an experiential session which uses simulated scenarios and trained actors to simulate the part of patients. All learners are encouraged to participate in the simulations and to work with the rest of the group to give constructive feedback. Simulation sessions may be organised with groups of staff who have completed the 4 core module workshops.

ALOBA diagram