Better Communication, Better Connections

Kate Vergara
October 30, 2020

We had our first Communications Week last October 19 to 23, 2020. The webinar series covered topics on Basic Communication, Call Handling, Email Writing, De-escalation, with some fresh insights about the American culture through Cross-Cultural Literacy.

Skills Assessor Angela Castañares reminded everybody of the basics of communication on the first day, particularly on sending and receiving messages using different mediums. She also touched on verbal and non-verbal cues and communication barriers. “Communication is important to us in conducting business because it is the baseline of our company. It is how we talk to our clients and how we talk to our patients. We also need communication in our day to day life,” Angela shared during her talk. Training Specialist Kherk Tupas conducted a review on Call Handling. He further enriched the talk by sharing actual experiences as a trainer and virtual medical assistant.


The staff worked out their email writing muscle with senior writer Abigail Sabido on the third day. She shared tips to improve standard Filipino-English writing to fit the American audience. She was later joined by Client Services Manager Juvy Magbanua-Clemeña to share her experiences as a direct communicator with our clients. To encourage the staff, Abi reminded them that “American style of writing can’t come through overnight. It takes practice and a cycle of learning, re-learning, and un-learning.”


The crowd favorite was the Cross-Cultural Literacy talk with our founder Don Wicklegren and CEO Vanessa Belleza. Together they shared their experiences working with Filipinos, Americans, and other nationalities. Employees had the opportunity to ask Don anything they wish to know about American culture. Since our client base is in the US, it pays to know cultural nuances to raise awareness and develop sensitivity.


Closing the week was a refresher on de-escalation strategies with Nurse Manager Jan Mar Panaguiton. There are days when a call requires this skill to properly deal with an upset client as well as brewing conflicts within the organization. After Jan Mar’s talk, our HR Officer Jother Tirador shared a de-escalation experience. The major takeaway is whether it’s an honest mistake or not, finding humility in admitting errors, and apologizing is the first step in de-escalation.

Communication is the core of our company. It is how we connect with our clients from the other side of the globe. We’re brushing up on our communication skills, starting from the most basic exchange of information up to deepening our understanding of the American culture so we can be better.


Kate is a Xilium writer and a former lifestyle and business assistant editor at a local Philippine newspaper. She holds a degree in pharmacy and literature, so her writing spans holistic and alternative health, medicine blog articles, and advertising and legal services. She enjoys blogging, poetry, and short fiction and has published in indie zines and anthologies.