Healthful Communication for Employers and Helpers
Lack of communication between employers and domestic helpers often leads to unsuccessful employment. Communication, eventhough exercised, can still negatively affect relationships if the communication is unhealthy. Gossip, arguing, being apathetic towards each other’s feelings is a sign of unhealthy communication.
Effective communication is not always easy. Emotions such as anger can make it difficult. You can, however, make ways to express how you feel respectfully.
It starts in communicating your feelings by stating the problem and how it affects you. For example, telling your maid how you feel when she hurts your child when disciplining. Or telling your maid how you get angry when she enters your bedroom without permission. Of course, this is more effective when helpers can also express how she feels when employers put her in a certain situation too.
Communicating isn’t only about talking but also listening. Speak out but listen more. Above all, understand by heart what each other has to say. For helpers from overseas who have difficulty understanding their employer’s accent, it is advisable for you to repeat what your employer has just said to make sure you have heard it right.
Acting in ways that match what you say is also helpful in passing your messages. You do what you say so your maid/employer won’t be confused. For employers, setting the good example is an effective way of communicating what you want your maid to do. Non-verbal communication is louder than words.
Discussion is pointless if the things discussed are not remembered. For helpers, taking note of what the employers have said and writing it down is another way of valuing the feelings and respect. Maid’s voices must be valued too. Sometimes, they have something to say for the improvement and safety of the household.