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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES01

9802-HOW TO COMMUNICATE BETTER

Presented at the 14th International Leadership Training programme Islamabad Pakistan 11-2- February 1998 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. Director, Tarbiyat and Training Center, International Islamic University, Malaysia.

OUTLINES

Concepts

What is communication?

Communication process

 

Communication in Small Groups

Oral communication

Meetings and being in a group

Using the telephone

Meeting and greeting

Barriers to effective communication

 

Public Speaking

Purposes and elements of public speaking

Speaker

Audience

Message

Preparation

Structure

Rehearsing

Delivery style

Rentention

 

1.0 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. Perception is organizing and interpreting incoming information. Perception is selective being influenced by environment, background knowledge, and background attitudes.

 

The functions of communication are: Informing, Controlling, Expressing emotions, Motivating, and 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. Conscious communication is when you have a definite message to communicate to another person and you take active measures to convey the message. Unconscious communication is when you have a message but do take deliberate measures to convey it. You may communicate unconsciously when you intend to deliver a certain message but a different one is conveyed or you hit an unintended target.

 

Communication may be verbal (oral and written) or non-verbal. A lot of non-verbal communication is unconscious. 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. 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.

 

You can always improve the effectiveness of your communication by training and experience.

 

2.0 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. 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.

 

The 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. The following can be done to decrease message distortion: precise communication, repetition to ensure understanding, communicating the right message to the right person, choice of the appropriate channel of communication, and the right environment.

 

3.0 ORAL COMMUNICATION

Face-to-face communication is usually the best form of communication 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. 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. Be open-minded and not judgmental. Let the speaker know you are listening. Write notes. Give feed-back. Summarize or paraphrase some of what the speaker says. 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.

 

An active listener must ask questions to understand. Ask open-ended questions for clarification and also for encouragement of the speaker. Questions remove ambiguity and create clarity. The questions should seek clarifications or additional information and not appear to challenge the speaker. Questions that pre-empt the speaker or that are hypothetical should be avoided.

 

Measures can be taken to improve face-to-face communication. These require training and constant practice. 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.

 

4.0 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.

 

You must have a positive attitude. Attitude can not be hidden; your body language will give you away. The best way to develop a positive attitude when meeting others is to cultivate positive thoughts in your mind and avoid negative thoughts about people.

 

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 (same gender). 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. 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. Even when speaking the same language, avoid specialist terms and jargon that some people may not understand. 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. Make a dua at the end of the gathering.

 

5.0 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 techniques 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.

 

6.0 BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

Prejudgement 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.

 

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.

 

Distractions.

 

Emotional resistance to being on receiving end.

 

Time constraints.

 

Poor listening.

 

Poor speech.

 

Bad timing.

 

Unsuitable circumstances.

 

 Multiple meanings of words.

 

Information overlord.

 

Verbosity.

 

Value judgement.

 

Filtering

 

7.0 PURPOSES AND ELEMENTS OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

Public speaking serves several purposes that help in leadership situations: informing, entertaining, inspiring, convincing, motivating, teaching, training, and convincing. Speech can be used to define issues and bring about a change. Public speeches make a major impact if made well. Speaking is metaphorically a type of magic because of its capacity to transform people. The elements of public speaking are: Speaker, Message, Delivery Technique, Audience, and Feed-back.

 

 

SPEAKER

As a speaker you must have integrity, knowledge, positive attitude, sensitivity to the audience and the situation, oral skills, self-confidence and self-control. You must have a purpose for the speech; it is not use speaking just for the sake of speaking. You must be original; repeat of some one else's great speech verbatim may turn out to be a dismal failure. You must have interest and enthusiasm; a tired exhausted speaker with a well-prepared speech may not do as well as one in good mood. You may be a poor speaker because of lack of commitment to the topic though it may be well prepared. As the speaker you must be in control and never lose your emotional balance. Acknowledge tension as a normal phenomenon. You should remember that tension reduces as you start speaking. When tense think about things that interest you to relax. You must be yourself and avoid an artificial disposition. Look at the audience. Establish eye contact. Communicate with both body and voice. As a speaker you must have interest and commitment to what you are communicating to talk well about it. You must in short be sincere and real. A good message delivered with superb technique but with no sincerity may leave the audience unimpressed. The audience can feel your sincerity and attune to you. You must be able to establish your credibility for your message to have an impact. The physical appearance, posture, gestures, movements and voice quality establish credibility and determine the success of the delivery. They should be appropriate to the audience being addressed and must fulfil the audience’s expectations. As a speaker you must understand that your appearance has a big impact on the audience; they may judge you even before hearing you. Dress appropriately. Maintain proper posture. Use natural gestures, and avoid bad mannerisms such as fidgeting, meaningless movements, licking lips, picking your nose etc. Your voice must be confident, mature, and serious. You must appear accessible, sincere, genuine, and enthusiastic. Speak as long as there is interest. Do not bore the audience. Watch out for signs of audience disinterest such as sleeping, yawning, or walking out. Cut your talk short if the audience is clearly not interested.

 

8.0 AUDIENCE

The audience is very important. As a speaker you must choose your audience carefully. There is no point in speaking to an audience you know is not interested. A great speech to one audience may bore another to sleep.  You may have a good topic and deliver it is a masterful fashion to an uninterested audience. A less well-prepared speech delivered in less than perfect style may go well with a positive and expectant audience. Do not surprise the audience; the speech must be related to them, to you, and to the topic advertised. The speech must be adapted to the audience as individuals and as a group. Adapting a speech to an audience does not mean pandering to their vanities. Speak your mind but about things that are relevant to them.

 

If you are in the audience you must know that listening is more than hearing. Listen for ideas and not words. Take notes. Suspend judgment.

 

9.0 MESSAGE

You can learn a lot of technics of speaking effectively, being interesting and captivating the audience. All of these are necessary but can never be a substitute for substance. You must have a useful message to communicate to others. Each speech must have a clear mission. Do not talk for the sake of talking. Talk if you have something to achieve. A captivating title must show benefit to the audience. It must reflect objectives relevant to them. It must deal with real problems and must suggest solutions. It must be action-oriented and easy to remember. Titles that stimulate the imagination and phrased in a 'catchy' way attract audiences. Good preparation is always the key to success. There is no short-cut substitute to knowledge of the subject material to be presented. You must demonstrate that you are the expert. Do not exaggerate. Be honest about limitations in your knowledge. Make sure you tell the audience what are facts, what are opinions, and what are ideas or theories. The message must be innovative and creative

 

10.0 PREPARATION

Three parameters concern the message: content, structure, and delivery style. Preparing a good speech takes time and effort. Some estimate that one minute of speaking requires one hour of preparation. Familiarity with the subject matter or experience in delivering similar speeches help reduce the time of preparation.

 

The following are steps in speech preparation: setting a time-table, selecting and narrowing down the subject, determining the general and specific purposes, determining the central idea, analyzing the audience and the occasion, gathering material for the speech, making an outline, and practicing the speech.

 

Narrowing a topic involves selecting 2-3 points that you can discuss well in the time allocated. You must have the purpose of the speech very clear in your mind. Choose a title for the speech that is relevant to you, the audience and the occasion. The title should be provocative and brief. Choose what to talk about being guided by subjects you know about, ideas you believe in, or what interests you and the audience. Audience interest is evoked by: concerns over health, security or happiness; solutions to recognized problems; controversy of conflict, and a subject appropriate to the occasion.

 

11.0 STRUCTURE

Prepare an outline dividing your presentation into three parts: introduction, body and conclusion. Follow the outline while preparing the complete text. You may modify the outline as you go along.

 

The introduction is an overview of the speech. It is concise. It raises interest and expectations. You must preview background, special terms, and key points at the start. Plan to capture audience interest at the start or risk losing it forever. Humor is one way of capturing audience interest. Other methods are: starting with questions, telling stories, anecdotes, and personal experiences

 

In structuring the body, outline your ideas. The following approaches may be used in outlining: chronology, questions (what?, where?, how?, when?), cause and effect, narration, process, definition, classification, analogies, illustrations, problem-solving scenarios, deductive logic (general to specific), inductive logic (specific to general), time and place characteristics. A thesis must be developed. The thesis statement is the controlling idea, the central theme of the speech. It must be a single declarative sentence. Since it sets the cue for the whole speech, it should be presented early in the speech. Ideas must be organized as main points and linking ideas or transitions from one idea to another must be included for smooth flow of the speech. The language must be clear and appropriate for the topic, situation, and audience. The best speeches are those that are original ie the central ideas are from the speaker. Supporting material is needed to make the speech more effective. Examples of support material include: opinions (public or expert), specific examples or instances, comparisons, and statistics. The speaker must research to obtain support material. The following are possible sources of library support material: books, magazines, periodicals, government documents, newspapers, computer data-bases.  Non-library sources include: interviews, informal interviews, and interactions with others. You must end with humility.

 

A good conclusion summarizes the key ideas, gives a sense of completeness, and appeals to the audience. You must work on making the conclusion effective; it is often the most remembered part of the speech.

 

12.0 REHEARSING

Rehearsing a speech before delivery increases your confidence, helps find difficult parts, assists in identifying mistakes, and helps time the duration of the speech. Rehearsal helps you modulate your voice, improve your gestures, and check visual aids. The most important benefit from rehearsing is the feeling of self-confidence in the knowledge that you have prepared well and have rehearsed and are sure you can deliver a good speech. The following are methods of rehearsal that can be used: reciting aloud, using a tape recorder, and silently talking to yourself,

 

13.0 DELIVERY STYLE

A good presentation must be natural, dynamic, articulate, and displays emotion. As a speaker you must aim at getting and maintaining audience interest. You must capture the attention of the audience from the start if you are to keep it through the speech. Make your topic specific and unique. Either establish yourself as an authority on the topic or quote authorities. To keep the audience interest, tell them what interests them but not in a hypocritical way. Do not pander to their vanities. You must convey your message even if you differ from them. Show interest in your audience by mentioning facts that indicate you did take the trouble to find out about them. The following also help maintain audience interest: activity, reality, proximity, familiarity, novelty, suspense, conflict, humor, issues that affect vested interests. Reinforce and repeat your main points throughout the presentation. Be human, personal and accessible. Try to link your personal experiences with the presentation. When speaking, define technical terms and avoid jargon as much as possible. Use anecdotes & examples, give details, speak as if you are in conversation, use simple everyday language. Use natural gestures and maintain eye contact. Talk only when there is interest. Stop talking as soon as there is a distraction.

 

Avoid powerless talk that loses you audience interest. Powerless talk makes you lose authority and credibility in front of the audience. Matters may become so bad that they ask themselves even why you came to talk to them at all!. Powerless talk manifests as: hesitation, hedging, tag questions, and disclaimers.  Do not hesitate. Hesitation indicates lack of knowledge or confidence. Do not hedge by using phrases like 'I guess' or 'I think'. Do not use tag questions like 'isn't it?' or 'wouldn't it?'. Do not make any disclaimers like 'I am not the most knowledgeable on this topic', 'I did not prepare'.  Do not make any excuses like 'I was not the scheduled speaker; I am substituting', 'I do not know the subject well' etc

 

There are basically 4 methods of presentation: memory, reading manuscript, ex-tempore, and impromptu. Try to personalize the delivery method. Rehearse and find out what works best for you.

 

The most effective delivery would be from memory. There is however a high risk of being confused, forgetting some parts, or saying things you did not plan to say. The very effort of memorizing a speech is also not easy. Memorization is appropriate for short oft-repeated speeches such as election campaign speeches or toasting. Success requires constant practice. It is a good precaution to keep a piece of paper in case you get stuck.

 

Reading a manuscript is precise but interferes with active interaction with the audience and could be boring.  A written speech should be used only for the most important and sensitive matters especially when details are important. Try to memorize certain sections and do not read every word. Try to speak in as natural a way as is possible.

 

The favored delivery is ex-tempore. Extempore delivery uses notes as points to guide the speaker and this is the best. You should have a manuscript with which you are very familiar but you however speak from notes and outlines. Direct quotes should be written out in full to avoid making mistakes. Practice is needed for a perfect delivery.

 

There is no impromptu speech. What goes for impromptu speech has usually been planned and thought about a long time ago and is not spontaneous to the speaker. An impromptu presentation must be brief. Essentially it involves stating a main idea, developing an argument, and stating a conclusion. Practice is mandatory. Impromptu delivery should be avoided except for very experienced speakers who are very knowledgeable about the subject and have delivered a similar speech before.

 

14.0 RETENTION

Try to make your speech unique so that it can be remembered. The following help increase retention: audio-visuals, repetition, periods of silence for emphasis, audience participation, short and simple speech, use of examples and stories to illustrate concepts, appropriate language use, appropriate body language and emotions, and sincerity of the speaker.

 

A good speech is usually simple, short, and to the point. The importance of the message conveyed can not be judged by the length of time it took to convey it. Use repetition instead of giving too much information. Do not overlord the audience with information. Concentrate on a few main points but present them well and effectively

 

The following measures help improve language use. Words must be used parsimoniously. Be accurate in your word use. Choose words carefully. Avoid loaded words, slang and colloquial expressions. Use vivid language by employing analogies, allusions, alliterations, parallelisms, metaphors, and similes. Verbosity and pompous language should be avoided. Your language must be clear. Use appropriate abstract or concrete language depending on the audience and the topic. Your voice must be active.

 

Professional speakers and politicians tell the audience what the audience wants to hear and sometimes get away with it. Specific packaging or customizing a speech is of paramount importance to them. You are not in that league. You may only customize the delivery techniques, the intellectual level, or even content of the message. You however can never compromise the truth just to please the audience. You are a leader and the audience are followers. It is a failure of the leadership process if you tell then what pleases their ears instead of talking as a leader and showing them the way ahead. Pleasing audiences is the work of performers and entertainers.

 

Speaking with emotion captivates the audience. They may share in the emotion. However too much emotionalism may be negative. You must know the audience and its culture. Some cultures are associated with high emotions whereas others are more subdued. The language employed must be appropriate to the emotional level. The emotion must be appropriate to the subject of discussion and to the audience.

 

Liberal use of relevant examples helps illustrate points and also increase retention. The examples must be relevant and not offensive. The example must not become a point if controversy or introduce a new idea that distracts from the topic. A story especially if humorous helps understanding and retention. The story helps build a visual image; visual images are better retained. The story should be simple and brief and should not itself become the focus of interest. The story should be relevant to the speech and should only emphasize one of the points already made. The story should present only one non-controversial idea that does not allow more than one interpretation. The standard used is that any story told in a speech should be understood by a child even before the telling is completed.


DISCUSSION

 

RICHNESS OF COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

Fill the following table

 

                                                   COST  FEEDBACK  MULTIPLE  PERSONAL  CUSTOMIZED 

 

STATIC-PERSONAL

  (e.g. letter)

 

  STATIC-IMPERSONAL

  (eg flyers)

 

  INTERACT-DIRECT

  (eg face-to-face)

 

  INTERACT-INDIRECT

  (eg telephone)

 

 

BODY LANGUAGE IN COMMUNICATION

Interpret the following forms of body language

 

                (a) head

                                nod up/down

                                nod sideways

                (b) eyes

                                narrowed

                                steady

                                glancing

                                winking

 

                (c) face

                                frown                                     

                                smile

                                raised eyebrow

 

                (d) arms and hands

                                pointing finger

                                folded arms

                                arms at side

                                hands uplifted outward

                                hands in pockets

                                snapping fingers

                (e) lips

                                pursed

                                biting

                (f) body posture

                                fidgeting

                                hands on hips

                                shrugging shoulders

                                squared shoulders

                                sitting on edge of chair

                                sloughing in chair

 

CONVERSATION IN YOUR COMMUNITY

What do people normally talk about when they meet? Where do they normally meet? What percentage of the day is spent in conversation?

 

LISTENING HABITS

Use the following check-list to assess your listening habits. For each item indicate one of the following choices: always, usually, sometimes, seldom, never

 

                (a)           telling speaker subject is uninteresting

                (b)           criticizing delivery method

                (c)           getting emotionally over-stimulated or antagonized

                (d)           listening primarily for facts

                (e)           pretending paying attention

                (f)            allowing distraction

                (g)           avoiding difficult material

                (h)           day-dreaming

 

 

CHECK-LIST OF A PUBLIC SPEECH

Think of a public speech that you delivered recently and indicate whether you undertook the following:

 

Understanding the speech event

Thinking about the speech situation

Preparing the speech

Practice/rehearsal

Delivery

Questions and answers

Analysis of the speech experience

 

METHODS OF SPEECH DELIVERY

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the following speech delivery technics:

 

                                                                                ADVANTAGES                   DISADVANTAGES

 

                MEMORIZATION

 

                EX-TEMPORE

 

                READING

 

                IMPROMPTU

 

CHECK-LIST FOR SPEAKER

Think of a speech you delivered or listened to and evaluate it using the following criteria:

                Speaker's appearance

                                proper dress

                                posture

                                face: (smile, eye contact)

                                hands: (natural gestures)

                                voice: (loud, diction, breathing, speed)

                Speaker's mannerisms

                                meaningless sounds

                                meaningless phrases eg 'you know'

                                licking lips

                                meaningless hand gestures

                                playing/toying/fidgeting with things

                Speaker's style

                                accessibility (aloof, accessible, candor)

                                speed

                                word selection

                                sincerity

                                enthusiasm

                                be himself and genuine

 

YOUR NOTES:

 


TEXT ANALYSIS

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. Qur'an 39:23

 

CROSS-CHECK INFORMATION:

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. Qur'an 14:24-26

 

"Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " A good pleasant, friendly word is a sadaqa". Bukhari 8:32

 

"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,

Ahzab:70-71

Taha: 44

 

INSINCERE COMMUNICATION:

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

 

DISCUSSION (HEWAR)

Mujadalah:1

Kahf:34

Kahf:36-37

Shura:22-29

 

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

 

LISTENING

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

 

" 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

 

NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION:

"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

 

GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS:

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

 

"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 # 5174

 

"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

 

"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

 

GOOD ARGUMENT

Naml:125

Ankabut:46

Isra:53

 

CLEAR SPEECH:

"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

 

"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

 

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

 

IGNORING OTHERS

"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

 

"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  

 

SHORT SPEECHES

"Ammar b Yasir said: The Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) commanded us to shorten the speeches". Abu Daud 1:285, Chapter 382, Hadith # 1101

 

BODY LANGUAGE AND GESTURES:

"Narrated Sahl: Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) said, " I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise," showing his middle and index fingers and separating them". Bukhari 7:171, hadith # 224

 

SPEAKING WITH EMOTION:

"Narrated Abu Masud al Ansari: Once a man said to Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) " O Allah's Apostle! I may not attend the ( compulsory congregational ) prayer because so and so ( the Imam ) prolongs the prayer when he leads us for it. The narrator added: " I never say the Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) more furious in giving advice than he was on that day. The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said. " O people! Some of you make other dislike good deeds ( the prayers ). SO whoever leads the people in prayer should shorten it because among them there are the sick, the weak and the needy ( having some jobs to do". Bukhari 1:75, hadith # 90

Omar Hasan Kasule Feb 1998