Communication Ethics

Communication is a core part of our everyday life, taking about conveying information in friendship, family, business and other forms of relationship. In this edition, we would talk about those ethics that should be observed while communicating with people in various places.

Communicating involves exchanging ideas, listening, and understanding and expressing oneself, it also involves the use of body language and facial expression to convey messages. These are certain things one should have on mind while conveying information or messages. One should remember that communication could either be in a verbal or non-verbal form.

  • Having a good knowledge on the information being conveyed; one should have important facts related to the issue of conversation. It could be through reading and research.
  • Speaking out loud. It’s always good to speak out loud so the other person would hear you and not get misconception which can be very risky.
  • Clear pronunciation of words; your words should be prominently said for clear understanding.
  • Using the appropriate words for the appropriate places: we should use the words that are suitable for the kind of places we may find ourselves.
  • Your self-esteem affects your mode of communication, therefore for effective communication; one should have a high self-esteem. When one is bold there’ll be clear eye to eye contact which is very necessary for an effective communication.
  • Using the correct body language that goes in with your words matters a lot in communication. Your body language should relate your words for proper perception.
  • Always remember let your “YES be YES “and your ”NO be NO”
  • Go straight to the point: Don’t always beat around the bush, just convey the message, otherwise your listener will lose concentration and not get the information at the end of the day.
  • Always state your feelings clearly and honestly.
  • Be assertive: Remember it is polite to express yourself when the need arises but in a way that you won’t hurt the other party.
  • Always use the “I” statement when speaking for yourself.
  • Always consider people’s values when communicating. Just as you have your own values and want those to be respected so does every other person, so put respecting other people’s value into consideration when communicating.
  • Try not to be biased when communicating especially with issues related to gender and gender roles.

Listening is also a core part of communication. Therefore:

  • Learn to listen to the other party without interrupting. Let them speak their minds, don’t interfere while they speak.
  • Trying to understand the other party’s point of view is also necessary when communicating.
  • Listen to the other party without thinking of what to say next.
  • Rephrase what the other party is saying to ensure clear and effective understanding.
  • Ensure that the other party knows that you are listening by using simple body languages to notify such as nodding and a host of others.
  • Always clarify what the other party has said to avoid misconception while communicating.
  • Try not to change the subject matter; speakers tend to feel offended when trying to pass a message and another subject matter is raised.
  • Be patient with the other party when information is being conveyed in order to get every single detail.
  • Do not put the other party down or make the person speaking feel inferior or else it would affect his/her attitude thereby affecting the information being passed.

Effective communication enhances good interpersonal relationship between people; it brings about understanding which evades unnecessary conflict, respect for one another and promotion of one’s self-image.

Phone Etiquette

Ensure the number you have is correct. If you do disturb someone and it’s the wrong number then `please` have the decency to say, “I’m sorry! I have the wrong number”. That individual may be ill, in a wheelchair, or elderly, etc., so you should respect and apologize for the inconveniences.

Check your voice! It carries much more than just a tone, and reflects your character and personality even on the phone! Remember your listener cannot see you, so your phone-voice becomes your facial expression, gesture, personality and character. Always check your voice when speaking; speak in a pleasant tone and very clearly. Smile through your voice! What they hear will make a positive or negative impression.

When someone answers the phone don’t be harsh and abrupt by telling them what you want first. This confuses them and makes them wonder who you are. You also appear very rude, which is bad if you need a favour from them. It gives the wrong impression before you start! And don’t say, “Who is this?” You phoned them, so introduce yourself and state who you are and what you want-politely! For example, say “Hello, this is Mrs. Peppermint; I’d like to speak to Mrs. Sally she available?’ Or if you are making inquiries, state,” Hello, this is Mrs. Peppermint. I saw an advert in the local paper for a shop assistant, is that position still open? “When finished, say, “Thank you for your help. Goodbye” and be genuine! Now ensure you give them time to say “Goodbye too!!

Give people a chance to answer their phone! They could be outside in their garden, knitting, banking, washing the car or at another end of the house. Don’t just ring three times and hang up! It’s annoying when you stopped doing something, go into the lounge to answer and just as it gets to your ear the caller hangs up!!

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