Flashcards in Study 4: Communication skills for Loss Adjusters Deck (34)
Objectives in communication - What are some key principles in the claims communication process? (3)
-First principal is that professionals should always approach people with respect. People appreciate being treated pleasantly.
-Another principal is building rapport. Identifying the needs of others can help build rapport, as well as improving how and when they explain the policy contract and claims process to the insured.
-Failure to communicate effectively can affect level of customer service
What are 4 things that can influence human behaviour? (4)
-Home and work environment
Describe how cultural influences (5) and the home and work environment (2) affect human behaviour.
--Are derived from religious and ethnic values of society.
--Affect how people behave, feel, react
--people in the same cultures tend to have same beliefs which in turn influences individual behaviour
--Individual cultures differ on what is considered polite, adjusters must acknowledge these differences by adapting their approach
--Various regions of Canada have different customs, holidays, languages, and ways of doing business which the adjuster must understand.
Home and Work Environment:
--Affect how people behave
--Examples include people who were raised in violent environment tend to be more violent, or someone who lacks respect was most likely raised in less than ideal conditions
Describe how Education (1) and Genetics affect human behaviour (3)
Education - Different types of education and schooling tend to affect how a person acts or thinks. (Ex: Learning from CIP program will improve professionals ability to function in insurance environment)
--Through their genes, people inherit certain characteristics that influence personality development
--peoples personalities in turn, contribute to their automatic and habituated responses and behaviours - the actions and reactions they engage in without thinking about them.
--Person's behaviour follows from emotion they felt. The adjuster needs to remain impartial, neutral and objective to deal with situation
What are the 4 main personality types? (4)
1) Passive emotions - people oriented individuals who need time to make decisions. Prefer 1 on 1 relations
2) More aggressive emotions- people oriented individuals that make decisions quickly. Prefer groups.
3) Aggressive control - task oriented individuals who make decisions quickly. They tend to respond in a very controlled manner and they can be intimidating. They like to get things done quickly.
4) Analytical passive - Fact oriented individuals that need time to make decisions. They move more slowly, examining each situation carefully
What are the three main thought styles that people tend to have? (3)
1) Visual - visual thinkers tend to think in pictures and absorb info best when presented in visual form. They like to work with visual aid such as images, charts, etc.
2) Auditory - focus on sound and listening. Absorb info best when they can hear it and talk about it. They prefer techniques like discussion and interviews.
3) Kinesthetic - combine thinking with physical action. Learn and think best when they can move around or manipulate objects at the same time.
Observing physical behaviour - Describe body language. (3)
- Posture, facial expression, vocal expression, and gestures are forms of body language.
- Non verbal cues that play a critical role in helping understand the attitudes and motives behind words.
-Being aware of how people express themselves allows adjuster to focus on best way to present info to them. They can match their pace of conversation and pattern of speech to increase chances of building rapport
*Refer to exhibit on page 4-9 for body language*
Body language - Describe posture (3) and gestures. (2)
- Refers to how people hold their body
- Position of body both influences and expresses how a person feels
-Ex: Leaning back is more relaxed and at ease, and a person who is slouched, with their shoulders typically sagged, suggest that they are unhappy or depressed
- Clusters of gestures can be interpreted more accurately than individual gestures
- Someone who crosses his arms, turns his face from a speaker, and yawns will probably have no interest in what the speaker is saying
Body language - Describe vocal expression (2)
-Generally includes voice tone, volume, pitch, and other associated vocal factors
-How quickly people speak and the tone of their voice can affect how others relate to them. If someone speaks to fast, adjuster can calm them down by speaking at a slower pace
What is mirroring? (2)
-People in tune with one another naturally tend to assume at least some of the same body positions or gestures as the other person
-mirroring others can help gain acceptance and build rapport, but adjusters should be aware of not trying to mimick the other person, as that can be disrespectful.
Self Analysis and Observation - How can adjusters use self analysis to improve their communication skills? (2)
-To improve communication skills. adjusters must become more aware of themselves
-Once people are aware of their own emotions, they are better able to see through biases and respond more effectively and in a non judgemental way.
Self Analysis and Observation - Define self esteem (1) and how it can affect relations with other people. (3)
-Self esteem is defined as a persons opinion of their own character and abilities
-How people see themselves affects how others relate to them.
-When people accept, trust, respect and believe in themselves, it is a sign of healthy self esteem and can also lead to them respecting others
-Low self esteem can have various consequences, it can lead to controlling behaviour, unclear communication, manipulating and bullying others, etc.
How can people build their own self esteem? (1)
To build self esteem, people might set aside part of each day to develop professional skills or to pursue personal enjoyment and acknowledge their individual importance
Self analysis and observation - describe how projection can affect relations with others. (3)
-People tend to project how they feel onto others which can affect their relationship with that person
-People are critical of others because they tend to be critical of those characteristics that they refuse to acknowledge or accept in themselves
-When people do not really trust themselves, its hard for them to trust others
Define active listening (1) and what it requires from the adjuster (3)
Active listening includes listening to what people are saying, what they are not saying, and how they are saying it.
It requires that the adjuster to:
-listen to what is being said and to show that they are listening
-interpret how the message is being conveyed (non verbal cues)
-ask for clarification and confirm that the adjuster has understood correctly
What are some ways that an adjuster can show that they are listening? (3)
-By providing feedback, either through body language or by what they say
-Can use simple responses such as "uh huh" or "i see"
-They can ask simple questions. Asking questions shows interest, clarifies problems, and helps define facts and lead to solutions
What are some productive responses when listening to an insured? (7)
-Encourage - Can you tell me more?
-Clarify - Can you help me understand this?
-Summarize - you are saying that....
-Acknowledge - I can see that you seem to be angry
-Solicit - How can we resolve this?
-Validate - I ca appreciate why you feel this way
-Praise - Thank you for cooperating
*To much interruption can be disruptive
Clarifying and confirming - What are techniques adjusters can use to clarify statements or facts made by the insured? (5)
To get at the facts, adjusters must create the right environment to allow people to explain their version of a story thoroughly:
-Adjuster can respond directly by asking clarifying questions
-By actively listening, adjusters can keep convo from drifting off on a tangent
-Adjuster can read between lines, paying attention to vocal expressions, body language, and other non verbal responses.
-Can control their own reactions to events, comments and remarks
*timing is important when asking for info about a loss. Sometimes claimants aren't ready to discuss the loss and adjusters should be aware of this
What are some barriers to listening? (9)
It is difficult for the adjuster to be an effective listener when he or she:
-engages in habituated responses
-daydreams about other tasks that must be attended to
-works out a reply before other person has finished speaking
-allows personal prejudices to rule how they react
-feels anxious and loses concentration
-behaves competitively and insists on domination convo
-refuses to accept what is being said
-distracts the speaker by interruption
-Physical environment can also create barriers (Distracting sounds, lack of privacy, etc)
How should adjusters respond to insureds with strong feelings and emotions? (5)
-A careless dismissal of feelings can create barriers, therefore feelings must be treated with respect
-Adjusters should be supportive, use sympathetic listening to let people know they are understood and their feelings are respected
-Should use soothing language to respond to emotionally loaded phrases or actions
-Should acknowledge feelings by expressing sympathy. Sympathy involves caring about the experience of someone else and can help dissolve insureds
-Should allow insureds time to think, reflect and form answers to questions
Effective speaking - Provide 9 tips to improve oral communication. (9)
-Reduce effects of any noise distractions
-Speaking loud enough to be heard
-Using language other person can relate to and words they can easily understand
-Using feedback skills to ensure understanding
-Considering tone of voice
-Matching body language to words
-Speaking more slowly when language is a barrier
-Hiring translator when necessary
Limitations of memory - How are memories of people a challenge in the communication process? (5)
-Memories are not always reliable, they can be forgotten easily by claimants.
-Some experts feel memory is always there, but people simply lose access to info that is no longer relevant, while others claim memory itself deteriorates and changes with time.
-Studies show people forget things rapidly at first. What people remember one day after an event is only a fraction of what they remembered at the time of the event, and what they remember 3 days later is only a fraction of their one day recollection
-People tend to remember less about an event when another event occurs immediately afterword.
-When an event creates a strong mental image, memories tend to deteriorate at slower rate
What are the 5 steps in which memories have the opportunity of being distorted? (5)
Everyone processes info differently which subjects memories to distortion. In the following steps, there are many opportunities for info to be distorted:
-Info is received through senses
-Info is sorted and stored in memory
-Info is needed in another context
-Info is located and decoded
-Decoded info is used
-Some people might try and distort facts in favour for themselves (Ex: exaggerating number of items stolen)
What are some other factors that can cause memories to be distorted? (4)
-Perception/selective perception - people can be fooled by illusions, and what they remember can be distorted by their defence mechanisms. They may also only recall things they want to remember (Selective)
-Physical problems - Affect how people hear or see things so that they may process info they hear or see incorrectly at the time (Ex: Mishearing something)
-Stress - causes increased memory distortion and memory loss. In stressful situations, people tend to narrow their fields of perception
-Emotions - info can be poorly processed because of emotions, people may see what they expect to see rather than what is true
What are some defence mechanisms people tend to use to help them recover from painful/strong emotions from an event? (5)
-Blocking out painful thoughts by repressing memory of event
-Refusal to acknowledge events that caused pain
-Projecting repressed feelings onto others
-Identifying with someone else's feelings and accepting them as their own
-Displacing aggression by directing anger at an undeserving victim
How should adjusters deal with a persons perception and memory problems? (2)
-Should ask probing questions to learn whether any factors might have interfered, and consider physical issues
-Should make record of a person's lack of memory about an event, just in case their story changes which makes them less credible
How should adjusters deliver bad news to the insured? (6)
-Start by forewarning them that negative news is coming.
-Should convey sympathy or empathy
-When there is both good news and bad news, adjuster should start with good news because if they started with bad news, the insured may just tune out the good news as a result of the effect of the bad news
-Words should be chosen carefully (Avoid stuffy phrases such as "our company policy"
-Can choose to say things in negative or positive way (Ex: Positive- the contractor can make it early as next week. Negative- the contractor wont be able to come till next week)
-When a mistake is made, adjusters should acknowledge it and apologize for it
Dealing with people under stress - How might people under stress appear to be? (7)
They may appear to be:
How can adjusters deal with people under stress? (3)
-Be calm, a lowered tone and a calm rate or speech imply clear and logical thinking
-if person is angry and talking loud, adjuster can diffuse situation by talking more quietly and slowly
-Be tactful and kind