The Five Pillars of Effective Communication

December 15th, 2010 @   -  One Comment

Communication is at the root of every success. The Quran and hadith put a lot of emphasis on communicating the message in the most beautiful and easy to understand and acceptable way. Indeed, the Quran uses the most appropriate language, tone, stories and parables to convey the message of Allah in the simplest and clearest way to all human beings across the ages, races, ethnicities and levels of intellect from the illiterate to the most learned person. All these people are able to receive the message when they approach it with an open mind.

In conveying His message to humanity, Allah has also put a lot of emphasis on the messenger. All Allah’s messengers were selected on the basis of their high moral character. They were the best example to their people. Allah knows that before accepting any message, the audience will always scrutinise the messenger from all angles to determine whether or not to accept the message.

What are the lessons we learn from the Quran and Hadith to improve communication in and around our organisation?

The first lesson is related to the relevance and interest of the message to the audience. While listening to the message, the audience will always be, consciously or unconsciously, asking itself: “What is in it for me?”That is why the entire message of the Quran and hadith revolves around our success and failure as humans in this life and the hereafter. Therefore, when you want to deliver a message, ask yourself what is in it for your audience? Why should they be listening to you and more importantly why should they act on what you are saying? Clarify these benefits in your own mind then find the best way to articulate.

The second lesson is about truthfulness. The message must be true and free of any form of falsehood or deceit. Anyone can fool his audience for a little while but sooner or later people will find out the truth and will stop believing and trusting that person. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “You must speak the truth for the truth leads to virtue and virtue leads to Paradise. One who always speaks the truth and means the truth is recorded as truthful with Allah. Keep away from the lies, for the one who continually tells a lie leads to evil and evil leads to Hell-fire” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim].

The third lesson relates to the character of the messenger: The messenger must be a model to his audience on living by the message he/she is conveying. All the messengers of Allah were of impeccable character and delivered the message through their actions before their words. Before delivering any message ask yourself this question: Am I living by the message I am about to deliver? If yes your message will be well received. If not, work on yourself first before inviting others.

The forth lesson is in relation to the time and place of delivering the message. The Quran was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) over a period of 23 years. Very often verses were revealed after an event or questions put to the Prophet (PBUH). Delivering a message in connection with an event which has prepared people for the message or when people are interested in a subject makes it easy for people to see the relevance. More than two hundred passages in the Quran begin with the Arabic word Qul - ‘Say’ – addressing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to say what follows in reply to a question, to explain a matter of faith, or to announce a legal ruling.  Therefore choose the right time and place to deliver your message and ensure maximum acceptance.

The fifth lesson relates to the choice of style. The Quran uses different styles of speech to convey different messages.

  • It uses parables to stir curiosity of the audience in order to explain deep truths. For example Allah says: “Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another; He has no power of any sort; and (the other) a man on whom We have bestowed goodly favours from Ourselves, and he spends thereof (freely), privately and publicly: are the two equal? (By no means;) praise be to Allah. But most of them understand not.” (Quran 16:75).
  • Allah uses stories to convey and explain messages. Indeed, a third of the Quran comes in the form of stories of previous peoples and nations. People are usually captivated by stories. This is why the film industry (story telling) is the most successful in the world through good and bad economic times.
  • In other places Allah takes oaths by Himself or by His marvellous creation to strengthen an argument or to dispel doubts in the mind of the reader or listener.
  • In some situations Allah uses irrefutable evidence from His creation whether historical, scientific, linguistic or anthropological to support the credibility of the Quran as a word of the All Knowing rather than a message from other humans.

We therefore need to adjust our style, body language and tone of voice to suit the situation at hand.People who understood the five lessons above and applied them well in their life, became very successful communicator.

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One Comment → “The Five Pillars of Effective Communication”

  1. yaquine

    4 years ago



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