This book will reach out to some families to attempt to explain to them the importance of effective communication. The purpose is to identify and explore the elements of effective communication and to practice communicating effectively.
This study for effective communication has been prepared to help families, marriages, work places, etc. to increase their effectiveness in communicating.
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Human Communication and Its Effect
By Gilbert H. Edwards Sr.
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Dr. Gilbert H. Edwards, Sr.
All rights reserved.
THE DEFINITION OF COMMUNICATION
Communication is the sharing and understanding of information. It is the single most critical skill needed for problem-solving and team success. The diagram below shows the transmission or exchange of ideas, information, etc., through speech.
This example is a perfect example of effective communication, which will be talked about in a later chapter. To communicate is to listen while the other individual talks without any interruptions. Let's look at the following dialog:
Jesus - Give me to drink.
The Samaritan Woman - How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Jesus - If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have given thee living water.
The Samaritan Woman - Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Jesus - Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
The Samaritan Woman - Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
Jesus - Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
The Samaritan Woman - I have no husband.
Jesus - Thou hast well said, I have no husband: in that saidst thou truly.
The Samaritan Woman - Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Jesus - Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The Samaritan Woman - I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
Jesus - I that speak unto thee am he.
(This conversation is a complete communication.)
To prove that it was a perfect effective communication is shown by its result – read verses 28-39 of St. John 4. This communication changed the woman of Samaria to a great Missionary of Jesus. Communication means moving toward others rather than away from them. It means speaking and behaving in such a way that a person's life is focused toward relationship. Effective communication is that style of interacting that moves people toward friendship and intimacy.
The Meaning of Interpersonal Communication
Communication involves the reciprocal process in which messages are sent and received between two or more people. This book focuses on the communication exchange between you, our spouse, your family and others. Communication can either facilitate the development of a good relationship or create barriers. There are two parts to face-to-face communication; the verbal expression of the sender's thoughts and feelings, and the non-verbal expression:
(1) Verbally - cognitive and affective messages are sent through words, voice inflection and rate of speech; and
(2) Non-verbally – message are conveyed by eye movements, facial expressions and body language.
Senders determine what message they want to transmit to the receiver and encode their thoughts and feelings into words and gestures. Senders' messages are transmitted to the receiver through sound, sight, touch and occasionally through smell and taste.
Receivers of the messages have to decode the verbal and non-verbal transmission to make sense of the thoughts and feelings communicated by senders. After decoding the senders' words, speech patterns, and facial and body movements, the receivers encode return messages either verbally through words, or non-verbally through gesture.
In an interaction between two people, each person is both a sender and a receiver and alternates between these two roles. When senders are speaking, they are also receiving messages from the person who is listening. Listeners not only are receiving speakers' messages but also are simultaneously sending messages.
An important function of communication is to transmit messages from one person to another. The real purpose of communication is to create meaning. Senders of messages wish to convey meaning to receivers and vice versa. With this intent, senders choose certain words and gestures in a way that they believe is congruent with their intended messages. The senders' objective is to transmit a message that is clear and understandable to receivers.
The purpose of communication does not stop there. The real purpose of creating the understanding in another person is to influence the other person to effect some change. The sender attempts to persuade the receiver to respond to the senders' requests.
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION
Communication brings family together, and it keeps marriages in tack, which makes a better marriage. Communication is important because the Book of Genesis speaks directly about God as the communicator: God said, "Let there be light." (Genesis 1:3) God spoke a word. God used the vehicle of words; the medium of spoken communication, to effect creation. It was a word that took away the darkness and brought light to the black confusion. It was a word that gathered the great bodies of water. It was a word that encouraged birds to fly and animals to crawl. It was a word that put life into seeds and flavored the fruits. And in a final burst of intimate communication, it was a word that called forth the man and the woman.
It is important to communicate; to be able to reconcile one back to relationship. There is life in communication. In the beginning, God uttered words that gave energy and life. In the beginning, God communicated.
Throughout the Hebrew scriptures, these writings can viewed as a collection of the memories of the Israelites engaged in mutual communication with their God, stories of their struggles to be attentive to energize one another, and to speak words of truth to their hearts. They talk of the story of God's faithful communication and of the hovering breath that sustained the men and women of biblical times, such as;
"You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." (Exodus 19:4)
"Like an eagle watching its nest, hovering over its young, he spreads out his wings to hold him, he supports him on his opinions." (Deuteronomy 32:11)
Communication should never stop! God has always spoken a word that enabled them to continue their journey. The Hebrews heard this continuous communication through the great Prophets, teachers and the scriptures.
Communication reveals who you are. Also, communication will let someone into your world. It will let you know who you really are. A key purpose of communication is to reveal, to make known what is inside the heart of another. Its purpose is not to try to get the other to change.
Effective communication is important, because things go wrong if you don't really spell out what is expected, so speak clearly, so that there will be no need for questions to be asked. Questions confuse the issue. They waste time too. Communication is an open, candid, free exchange between husband and wife. Neither needs to be on his or her guard in order to avoid risking misunderstanding by the other.
Body language is an important element because it can facilitate communication or be a barrier to it. Many experts agree that only 7% of our messages are communicated by words alone. Exactly how do we communicate?
(1) 7 % words only;
(2) 38% voice tone and inflection; and
(3) 55% facial expressions, body positions and gestures.
When there are inconsistencies between words and body language, the words say "yes" and the body language says "no"; body language is the more accurate message. People believe what you do, not what you say you will do.
Becoming more aware of one's non-verbal cues and more sensitive to the body language of others can significantly improve the quality of communication.
The definition of excommunication is the state of someone that is cut off by ecclesiastical authority from sharing in the sacraments, worship, privileges, or fellowship of a church-an excommunicated person.
Corrupt communication leads to excommunication. Adam and Eve was excommunicated from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23-24). Listening goes hand in hand with communication. The earth taught the Israelites to listen. The Prophets told them how to listen. The events of their lives reminded them that listening was demanding; that it would not come without cost. Sometimes people listen, but listen to the wrong thing. In the wilderness, the chosen people listened to their discouragements and fears. They listened to the bitter taste of exile in foreign lands. Listening to the wrong things and being disobedient to God will lead to excommunication.
"Hidden in the storm, I answered you, I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Listen, you are my people, let me warn you. Israel, if you would only listen to me!" (Psalm 81:7-8)
There is help for us if we would listen. Our homes and families could be better, our marriages could be saved. If we listen and obey, we will not be excommunicated from the fellowship of God.
"Listen, listen to me ..., pay attention, and come to me; listen and your soul will live." (Isaiah 55:2-3)
God who continually spoke to the Israelites required a response. The Israelites were to receive the word and take in the breath, and be moved to respond. By not responding to what you hear, could cost you to be excommunicated out of your marriage.
The Prophet Isaiah understood this response to be profoundly intertwined with the call to serve:
"The Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied, He provides me with speech. Each morning He wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear." (Isaiah 50:4-5)
For Isaiah, responding flows from listening. The ability to listen comes from God who has opened my ears, which at the start of each new day to hear life, that prepares the children of God to have a meaningful word for a wearied world.
The Prophet saw listening as so important that he identified it as the purpose for waking: "Each morning He wakes me to hear, to listen . . ." Listening to the ones you love will keep you close together and not to be excommunicated. A good listener will make good communication.
The scriptures present Jesus as a listener from the earliest days of His youth:
"Three days later, they found him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions." (Luke 2:46)
Jesus listened, and it paid-off in the wilderness of temptations. There in the wilderness He fought. He struggled with His life and wrestled with its meaning. He faced all the possibilities and listened intently to the implication of each of them. For a period of time that seemed like forever, He was absorbed in thought and lost in the depths of reflection. Gradually the reflection brought light. Listening became prayer. It is in the wilderness, in the empty lonely, unsure places of life that Jesus hears God's voice:
"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
The Procedure for Excommunication
Excommunication is the act of separating a person from all the privileges of the local church. There is a four step procedure to follow before any excommunication is made. These guidelines come from the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-18.
Go and show him his fault. If you are aware of sinful practices in the life of a brother or sister, go in private, and correct him or her. If he or she refuses to hear you, go to step two.
Take others along and repeat step one. If your private counsel does not work, then take one or two others with you and bring the corrections again. Find some of your most mature Christian friends, and take them along with you. Remember, you are trying to rescue a brother, not to kill him. If he or she refuses to hear you, go to step three.
Tell the Church. If your collective efforts still produce no positive effect, then bring the matter to the whole Church for their action. Confrontation hurts, but it is the best cure. The Church must be told the story, and the Church must act competently upon the issue.
The Whole Church: the Pastor or the Pastor and his ministerial board. If he or she refuses to hear you, go to step four.
Excommunication, if the erring party refuses to hear the counsel of the Church, then let that person be removed from all Church privileges and rights. As in I Corinthians 5:1-13, such
persons are to be expelled from the membership roll of the Church and regarded like any other spiritually lost human being. Their names must be dropped from the membership roll of the Church. The membership list of the local Church must reflect, as best possible.
Anyone that doesn't keep or abide by God's laws will be excommunicated (either through punishment at the hands of God; or through expulsion from the community.
"And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant." (Genesis 17:14)
So, anyone that does not take heed to what they have heard, or is dull of hearing will be excommunicated, which means there is no more communication (fellowship) with God, family, friends, etc., because of the failure to communicate.
One of the greatest difficulties between husbands and wives, parents and children, and various members of a congregation who have poor interpersonal relations is the problem of loose ends. Loose ends are those interpersonal problems between Christians that remain unresolved, because of the lack of communication.
Problems between husbands and wives or Christians should not continue unresolved. When they do, strength is sapped from the marriage or from the congregation. Unresolved problems hurt everyone and dishonors Jesus Christ's name, or could bring marriage to an end. There is no place therefore, for such loose ends in the Church or the marriage. God does not allow for loose ends; rather He insists that every personal difficulty that arises must be settled. Every such difference must be cleared up by reconciliation. Go and get the matter straightened with your brother or your spouse.
Excommunication always occurs when one reflects the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ (or lack of communication between husband and wife which lead to divorce). He is excommunicated for contumacy. Excommunication occurs when men act like Nabal; "He is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him." He just would not communicate. (I Samuel 25:17) As Jesus Christ puts it, "He will not hear (listen to) the Church."
Active listening techniques help us participate fully as receivers of communication. We become truly skilled listeners when we use them intentionally, with understanding of their purpose and effects on others. In any situation, active listening helps us to communicate more effectively by:
(1) Disciplining us to listen. We cannot use the listening skills without paying attention to what others say.
(2) Showing others that we are listening and working to understand what they are saying, this promotes openness, reduces defensiveness and leads to honest conversation.
Important in active listening is what we listen for. If we are to work with people successfully, we must listen for feelings, as well as for facts. There are five active listening behaviors in effective communication:
You have the sender and the receiver; both are to share the responsibility for effective communication. However, the receiver has a greater and more important role. It is the listener who has the power to break the pattern of automatic responses that block or distant communication. Active listening also has a positive impact on the speaker. It can help the speaker feel he/ she is being understood and successful in expressing him/herself. This can lead to the following reaction:
(1) greater objectivity and open mindedness;
(2) decreased defensiveness;
(3) an increase in self-confidence;
(4) an increase of mastery; and
(5) an increased sense of competence.
Feeling understood gives rise to a sense of frustration and anger toward the other, as well as toward oneself. Active listening not only furthers the communication process, but also leads to better relationships, making it easier to work well together.
Excerpted from Human Communication and Its Effect by Gilbert H. Edwards Sr.. Copyright © 2013 Dr. Gilbert H. Edwards, Sr.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
I. The Definition of Communication.................... 1
II. The Importance of Communication.................... 5
III. Excommunication.................... 7
IV. Active Listening.................... 11
V. Effective Communication.................... 19
VI. Defensive Communication.................... 31
VII. Communication Barriers.................... 35
VIII. Effective Communication for Teaching.................... 43
IX. God Communicated to the World (It Is Not Good To Be Alone)............. 57
X. The Great Communicator.................... 67
XI. Family Communication.................... 87