Improving Communication with Your Caregiver

Best ways to communicate with your live in nanny caregiver

The long-awaited arrival of your overseas nanny is an exciting addition to the family. But how do you ensure those feelings of bliss and relief continue, as your new caregiver begins his/her employment? Although many employers consider their caregiver a “member of the family”, the fact still remains that an employer-employee relationship exists, and as such, some guidelines need to be observed when communicating with your caregiver. Communication strategies for communicating with your nanny for tackling business concerns are paramount, but business strategies alone are not enough; one must also consider the importance of recognizing cultural nuances.

Clear and Open Communcation

The most important aspect of maintaining a good relationship is clear and open communication. Arriving in a foreign country is nerve-wracking enough for your caregiver, so it is vital that he/she feels comfortable enough to open up to you and address any issues should they arise.

When speaking with your caregiver in front of the children, it is important to speak with him or her politely in order to avoid undermining your caregiver’s authority. Furthermore, when correcting mistakes, remember to praise your caregiver for ways in which they have performed well. An effective way to introduce concerns is through the “sandwich approach”. Although this approach is frequently used in educational settings, it is a positive communication tool in other settings as well.

Rather than introduce your concern outright, the “sandwich approach” advises starting first with a positive point, followed by your concern, and then ending with another positive comment. You can imagine two delicious slices of bread with some not-so-tasty cheese in-between! By using this method, you will create a more positive environment when discussing concerns.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that cultural differences often result in communication difficulties. For example, communication in Asian cultures is often very different than in Western Cultures. In order to avoid confrontation in many Asian cultures, there is a tendency to say “yes” to requests, when in fact the individual would rather say “no”.

Not to mention, a smile should not be misconstrued as agreement or pleasure in what has been discussed. The smile can just as easily be used to hide embarrassment, annoyance or disagreement. When communicating with your caregiver, especially when first getting-to-know each other, it is very important not to assume that your message is clear. What may be clear to you might be easily misunderstood  by your caregiver.

Hopefully, with a little bit of work and focus on communication strategies, you can easily maintain a positive home environment with your new “family member”. Happy Communicating!

If you would like to hire a live in nanny or caregiver in Canada, please contact International Nannies and Homecare.

 

 

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