A major challenge facing social work today is to understand, and even change, what rules govern the communication between social workers and service users. How are they influenced by concepts such as professionalism, empowerment, care management, managerialism, partnership? All of these alter the context of social work, but not in a uniform direction. In the course of these sessions you will be invited to reflect on your own experience of communicating, and the issues that arise for social workers and service users when they need to communicate. The handout on Johari’s window will be a useful tool throughout the sessions, and you will benefit from reading it as early as possible.
The first major model for communication was introduced by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver for Bell Laboratories in 1949  The original model was designed to mirror the functioning of radio and telephone technologies. Their initial model consisted of three primary parts: sender, channel, and receiver. The sender was the part of a telephone a person spoke into, the channel was the telephone itself, and the receiver was the part of the phone where one could hear the other person. Shannon and Weaver also recognized that often there is static that interferes with one listening to a telephone conversation , which they deemed noise.