What is communication?
Meetings and being in a group
Using the telephone
Meeting and greeting
Barriers to effective communication
Man given speech
Repetition in the Qur’an to ensure communication
A good word
A good word is sadaqa
Say good or keep quiet
Selective communication to avoid misunderstanding
Receiver of information may understand and benefit more than the transmitter
Say nice words
Prophet spoke clearly
Repetition for understanding
Meeting others with a cheerful countenance
Excellence of greeting first
Silence and listening to others
People hate being ignored
Prophet spoke slowly
Richness of communication channels
Body language in communication
INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS
(IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
Communication is transfer of information from one communicator to another through the use
of symbols. The meaning behind the symbols is interpreted subjectively by the recipient. The elements of communication are:
Sender, Message, Medium, Receiver, and Feedback. The functions of communication are: Informing, Controlling, Expressing emotions,
Motivating, Social Intercourse. Communication is the basis of social intercourse and the overall functioning of society. A
good word is charity. Say good or keep quiet. Avoid bad words. Use polite even with people who have done wrong to you. Always
must have a personal touch. Communication may be conscious or unconscious. It may be verbal (oral and written) or non-verbal.
Non-verbal communication consists of: body language, physical appearance (hair, nails, cleanliness, wardrobe), manner of greeting
(voice, hand-shale, smile) , image/impressions (public speaking, letters, faxes, behavior in public, behavior in crisis, quality
of work delivered). Believable communication has the following characteristics: Emotionally honest, Focussed, Unselfish, Evidence-oriented,
Respectful, and Appropriate level of intimacy. Perception is organizing and interpreting incoming information. Perception
is selective being influenced by environment, background knowledge, and background attitudes. Communication is an essential
leadership function. Leadership can be looked at as communication to modify the attitudes and behaviors of others in order
to meet group goals and needs. Communication failure rapidly leads to leadership and organizational failure. Communication
channels may be personal static such as a letter, impersonal static such as flyers, direct interaction such as face-to-face
discussions, and indirect interaction such as a telephone conversation.
THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
A communication process starts with conceptualization of the ideas to be communicated.
The ideas or message are then encoded and put in a transmissible form. The message is then transmitted and is received. The
receiver decodes or interprets the message before understanding it and taking action on it. The receiver of a message may
understand it at a deeper level and benefit from it than the messenger. The process is completed by feedback from the recipient
to the sender. Communication is a circular process involving a feed-back loop. Every communicator must monitor the feed-back
to make sure that the communication process is effective. Communication is irreversible; every communication has a lasting
impact. Think before you communicate. A negative impact can never be fully wiped out by later retraction or correction. A
lingering negativity, however small, always persists. You should be very careful and prudent in selecting the information
communicated, the target of the communication, the timing and circumstances of the communication to make sure the impact is
positive. Communication must be precise to be useful. You can always improve the effectiveness of your communication by training
and experience. Communication must be pleasant in order to be absorbed and appreciated. Good and positive words are more effective.
A good disposition, friendly greetings, smiling and shaking hands, all help the communication process. The voice should be
pleasant and convey warmth and friendliness. A sense of humor helps communication. You must however know where to draw the
line. Too much or inappropriate humor indicates lack of seriousness and is negative. Humor usually involves laughing at human
follies better yours or anonymous but not the recipient of your communication. Never laugh at anyone however good the justification.
A sense of humor can get you out of a difficult situation. It can disarm an angry person. A person who insults or puts you
down can be disarmed by an appropriate joke. Your communication style reflects your basic personality. You may learn a lot
about improving your communication style. Never try to develop a phoney personality. Be genuine and be yourself. Content of
communication is degraded as it is passed from one person to another because of the increase of the noise component and the
decrease of the information content. Noise refers to those factors that distort the intended message.
Face-to-face communication is usually the best because of immediate feedback. Important
messages should be both oral and written. Success of oral communication (speaking and listening) is affected by language use,
voice and inflexion, speed and volume, silence, and active listening. To be understood, try to speak clearly. Be concise and
specific. Repeat to ensure understanding. Base your communication on objective facts. Watch for and if necessary ask for feed-back
so that you are sure your message is going through. Communication with people you know already or those who are close to you
is likely to be more successful.
Active listening is of critical importance in the communication process. An active listener
must ask questions to understand. Ask open-ended questions for clarification and also for encouragement of the speaker. The
questions should seek clarifications or additional information. Questions that pre-empt the speaker or that are hypothetical
should be avoided. Questions remove ambiguity and create clarity. While listening avoid the mistake of confusing content with
feelings. Separate and deal with each accordingly knowing that each is important. Talk less and listen more. Clear your mind
of other matters before start of the conversation and give undivided attention to the speaker. Let the speaker know you are
listening. Write notes. Give feed-back. Summarize or paraphrase some of what the speaker says. Be open-minded and not judgmental.
Do not verbally or by use of body language show the speaker that he is ignorant or crazy. Do not be too argumentative even
if you do not agree with the speaker. Listen, then think, then respond, then comprehend.
Measures can be taken to improve individual communication. These require training and constant
practice. Face-to-face communication can be improved in various ways. Choose the time of communication carefully. People who
are in a hurry or are engaged in another activity will not listen to you with attention. Focus on the topic of discussion.
Do not say too much and thus create an information overload. Repeat yourself for emphasis, clarity, and make sure you are
understood. Use simple but precise language. Watch for, ask for, and welcome feed-back. Take the initiative to ask questions
to make sure you are understood. Listen more than you talk. Do not talk continuously, pause for questions and comments. Stop
talking so that moments of silence may make the message sink in. Your pitch, voice inflections, volume, and speed must be
appropriate for the listener, the type of message, and the circumstances. The speed of conversation is important. Too rapid
is difficult to follow. Too slow is boring and causes the listener's mind to wander off. Learn to use body language to enhance
your verbal communication and make sure that the verbal and non-verbal communication cues are coordinated and are not contradictory.
Avoid careless talk. It is better to keep quiet. Not every correct things should be said. There are things that can confuse
some people in some situations; these are better left unsaid.
MEETINGS and BEING IN A GROUP
The first impressions that people get about you at the first meeting are lasting. Make
sure you project a positive but true image of yourself. Take care of your physical appearance. Your hair must be combed well,
the nails clipped, your clothes and face clean and appropriate. Your greetings must exude warmth and confidence. Eye contact
with those of the same gender enhances communication.
Before starting communication is small groups you can do something that facilitate the
process: Greetings, shaking hands, standing up as a sign of respect, kissing, and embracing. Take the initiative to greet
or shake hands first. Be personal and informal; the personal touch has a lasting impact. Meet others with a cheerful countenance
and maintain it throughout the communication process. Express emotions and love for your partners. When sitting in a gathering,
give place to the newcomers and let them feel welcome. The newcomer should also avoid displacing anyone. it is better he sits
even at the end.
When in a group gathering always talk about Allah. Make a dua at the end of the gathering.
Try to always sit and talk with the pious. Do not exclude the weak and the poor from your gatherings. When sitting in a group,
do not ignore anyone. People hate being ignored. Try to involve everybody in the conversation. You can not engage in secret
talks in the presence of others. You should also not use a language unknown by some of the people in the group. Be kind and
generous to the young and respectful to the elderly. Never embarrass anyone in a gathering. Always pray for those who say
or do something good.
USING THE TELEPHONE
When using the telephone, start with a pleasant but short greeting. Establish rapport immediately.
Project a positive and credible image at the beginning; this will facilitate further conversation. Speak with a powerful and
confident voice. Sound interested and motivated. Be brief and get to the point immediately. Pause and allow for responses.
There are words and expressions used in face-to-face communication that will lead to misunderstandings in a telephone conversation
because there is no supporting body language. Train yourself to signal that you want to end the conversation without offending
your listener. You must learn technics appropriate to your culture of cutting off a rambling caller tactfully. When an angry,
aggressive, and obnoxious person calls you, be careful not to get emotional. Listen him out and ask clarifying questions to
understand his motives then act appropriately. It is always better to end such a talk quickly and plan a follow-up at a later
time when the caller may be in a better emotional situation.
BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS
(a) Prejudgment before communication leads to failure of the communication process. The
recipient of communication must avoid assumptions and pre-judgments. Listen to the data and then judge. Cross-check information
to be able to reach right conclusions. (b) Differences between communicators: self-image, status, roles, personality, cognitive,
physical, social, cultural, vocabulary, and language. Behavior is the result of perception which in turn depends on selection
and interpretation of information. Thus the same information can elicit different behaviors in different individuals depending
on different perceptions. Background knowledge, attitudes, and environment affect the way the recipient perceives and interprets
information. (c) Distractions. (d) Emotional resistance to being on receiving
end. (e) Time constraints. (f) Poor listening. (g) Poor speech. (h) Bad timing. (I) Unsuitable circumstances. (j) Multiple
meanings of words. (k) Information overlord. (l) Verbosity. (m) Value judgement. (n)
INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES.
MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.
MAN GIVEN SPEECH:
( Allah ) most Gracious !. It is he who has taught the Qur'an. He has created man: He has
taught him speech ( and Intelligence) Qur'an 55:1-4
REPETITION IN QUR'AN TO ENSURE COMMUNICATION:
Allah has revealed ( from time to time ) the most beautiful message in the form of a Book,
consistent with itself, ( yet ) repeating ( its teaching in various aspects ) the skins of those who fear their Lord tremble
thereat: then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of Allah's praises. Such is the guidance of Allah
he guidance of Allah: he guides therewith whom he pleases, as Allah leaves to stray can have none to guide.
O you who believe ! if a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth lest
you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done. Qur'an 49:6
A GOOD WORD
See you not how Allah sets forth a parable ? a goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root
is firmly fixed, and its branches ( reach ) to the heavens. It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord.
So Allah sets forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. And the parable of an evil word is that of
any evil tree it is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability.
There is the type of man whose speech about this world's life may dazzle and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart: Yet is he the most contentious of enemies. When
he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle. But Allah loves
not mischief. When it is said to him " fear Allah " he is led by arrogance to ( more ) crime. enough for him is hell an evil
bed indeed ( to lie on). Qur'an 2:204-206
A GOOD WORD IS SADAQA:
"Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " A good pleasant, friendly
word is a sadaqa" Bukhari 8:32
SAY GOOD OR KEEP QUIET:
"Narrated Malik " Who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep
quiet." ( i.e. abstain from dirty and evil talk, and should think before uttering" Bukhari 8:99, hadith # 157
SELECTIVE COMMUNICATION TO AVOID MISUNDERSTANDING:
"Ali said, " You should preach to the people according to their mental calibre so that
they may not convey wrong things about Allah and His Apostle" Bukhari 1:95, hadith #1
RECEIVER OF INFORMATION MAY UNDERSTAND AND BENEFIT MORE THAN THE TRANSMITTER:
It is incumbent upon those who are present to inform those who are absent because those
who are absent might comprehend ( what I have said, ( better ) that the present audience"
Bukhari 1:58, Hadith # 67
"Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " ( Religious ) knowledge
will be taken away ( by the death of religious scholars ) ignorance ( in religion ) and afflictions will appear; and Harj
will increase." It was asked, " What is Harj, O Allah's Apostle ( may peace pe upon him )? He replied by beckoning with his
hand indicating "killing" Bukhari 1:70, hadith # 85
If you enter houses, salute each other a greeting or blessing and purity as from Allah,
thus does Allah make clear the Signs to you; that you may understand. Qur'an Nur: 81
SAY NICE WORDS
PROPHET SPOKE CLEARLY:
"Narrated Aisha: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) used to talk so clearly that if
somebody wanted to count the number of his words, he could do so" Bukhari 4:494, hadith # 768
REPETITION FOR UNDERSTANDING:
"Abu Salam said on the authority of a man who served the Holy Prophet ( may peace be upon
him ) that whenever he talked, he repeated it three times" Abu Daud 3:1037, Chapter 1374, Hadith # 3645
MEETING OTHERS WITH A CHEERFUL COUNTENANCE
"Abu Dharr reported: Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) said to me: Don't consider
anything insignificant out of good things even if it is that you meet your brother with a cheerful countenance" Muslim 3:1383,
Chapter 1093, Hadith #6359
"Narrated Aishah: I never saw the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) laughing to an extent
that one could see his palate, but he always used to smile only" Bukhari 8:74, hadith # 114
"Abu Hurairah reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: By Him
in Whose hand my soul is, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Should I not guide
you to something doing which you will love one another: Spread out salutation among you" Abu Daud 3: 1434, Chapter 1851, Hadith
EXCELLENCE OF GREETING FIRST
"Abu Umamah reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Those who
are nearest to Allah are they who are first to give a salutation." Abu Daud 3: 1435, Chapter 1853, Hadith # 5178
SILENCE AND LISTENING TO OTHERS:
" Hadrat Abu Malik Ashjai ( Rad ) quoted from his father, who said, ' We used to sit in
the company of the Prophet ( Salam ) and I was a small boy then. I did not see any one observing silence more than the Prophet
did. Whenever the Companions talked much, the Prophet ( Salam ) used to smile" Hayat 2: 702
AVOID HURTING OTHERS BY SECRET CONVERSATIONS
"Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, : When three persons are
together, then no two of them should hold secret counsel excluding the third person" Bukhari 8:203, hadith # 303
PEOPLE HATE BEING IGNORED:
"Narrated Adi bin Hatim: We came to Umar in a delegation ( during his rule). He started
calling the men one by one, calling each by his name, ( As he did not call me early ) I said to him. " Don't you know me,
O chief of the believers?" He said, " Yes, you embraced Islam when they ( i.e. your people ) disbelieved; you have come (
to the Truth ) when they ran away; you fulfilled you promises when they broke theirs; and you recognized it ( i.e. the Truth of Islam when they denied it." On that, Adi said, " I therefore don't care." Bukhari 5:478,
hadith # 677
"Narrated Qatada: I asked Anas, " Was it a custom of the companions of the Prophet ( may
peace be upon him ) to shake hands with one another? He said,"yes" Bukhari 8:186, hadith # 279
"Al Bara b. Azib reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Two
Muslims will not meet and shake hand having their sins forgiven them before they separate" Abu Daud 3: 1438, Chapter 1862,
Hadith # 5193
PROPHET SPOKE SLOWLY
"Urwah said: Abu Hurairah sat beside the apartment of Aishah while she was praying. He
then began to say: Listen, O lady of the apartment, saying twice. When she finished her prayer, she said: Are you not surprised
at him and his narration of traditions? When the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) gave a talk, a man could count
it if he wished to count" Abu Daud 3:1037, Chapter 1371, Hadith # 3646