fouzia fareed

islamabad - Communication is the basic element of human existence and in larger picture, of all the living creation in general. But the cognitive ability we human poses is beyond any other kingdom of organism is being blessed with ever! It is the basic art of living in a well-defined web of human ecosystem. The most important of all the attributes our creator has bestowed on us. We humans are being called ‘Ashraful-Mahlooqat’, meaning ‘above all the creation’ and why is it so? Because we human have the greatest ability among the creation on face of the planet earth and that is to ‘think’ in a well-organized manner, and convey our mind in the best possible way.

Decision making, innovative, cognitive power, analytical, critical thinking and what not we can do with this little organ fixed in cranium on top of our body. But without expressing our self, whether in terms of writing or speaking, everything is in vain. And that is the biggest loss we human species can come across. Communication in either way, verbal or nonverbal, are key to progress but along with all the positive aspects of how efficiently we can use it for the betterment of mankind, it is a lot of times being misused.

In today’s world of technology, this fast moving society does not have time to listen out to a person patiently or read the full text of a letter or an email for better understanding. This bombardment of social media accounts, this globalization have led to a world where insensitivity, in terms of human connectivity on personal level, is being inculcated so fast in the race of human that nobody is able to asses or notice on their own,‘how come this obvious amid change is progressing’.  We are getting into a loop of isolation and solitude from where there is no way coming out, if no proper measure is taken in timely manner, regardless of being connected to the world in the bigger picture. This solitude has resulted in intolerance towards listening or understanding each other in general.

If a bird’s eye view is being presented, every now and then we come across so many of scandals in news, on televisions, where individuals can’t or don’t know how to handle each other’s opinion. People are on the verge to tear each other’s reputation just because their opinion, thought processing is different from ours, ultimately what comes out as a consequence of this rage is the utmost shame to human creation, which is violence, verbal or nonverbal. How many times we come across politicians getting on to each other’s collar, altercation between celebrities, quarrels between siblings or among family members ending in firing and killing, leaving no room for reconciliation, arguments among office colleagues leaving a bitter taste in the organizational environment. This never ending list is not just confined to ‘one to one’ conversations, people on social media like Facebook, twitter, instagram are not far behind in the maneuver towards intolerance in communication. Point to ponder in this real time is, ‘what is the basic cause of this change in mannerism’?

There can be listless causes to this effect but I believe the most important one is the ‘rejection towards other person opinion right on hand and having a self-belief of righteousness’. In other words it’s called prejudice, we humans are so prone to these days. This mind game of having the right opinion of our own is child of insecurity, and this insecurity is due to the law of survival of the fits. This world only let that person enjoy to the fullest who is the best among all and the best among all is the person who is right all the time, every time! So this is a game where there is no beating. A game of covering up your insecurity by insisting on being right or proving people wrong in every matter which results in, what we can say, a kind of communicational violence.

Another reason, which I presume,is playing a part towards this havoc, can be inability of conveying a proper message. Interpretation of right sense, intention is key to better understanding. But as we human have innate characteristic of ‘error of judgment’that is we cannot predict or interpret the right meaning of what we listen. This error of judgment cannot be nullified, no matter how hard someone tries, but yes, at least, it can be minimized by communicating in humble, polite manner and what I believe, ‘there is nothing that cannot be solved over cup of coffee’!. If the dynamics of all this communicational discrepancy is elaborated a bit more, we come to know about this halo effect. Halo effect is basically a cognitive biasness of forming an initial judgment of a person that either he is right or wrong on basis of his appearance. Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman in his book “thinking fast and slow” explore the human psychology of how mind think and act respectively. So if a person has already presumed that he is right and the next person is wrong, then the first person will always act according to his presumption, which can be disastrous at times. This self-righteousness give a personself-authority of instructing people in their day to day working, criticizing them in different aspects, which can end in awfully unhealthy environment at work place or in individual lives as well.

 A person should understand that “best objection is the best suggestion”. The rectification to this issue can only be possible if we, as an individual, start believing in unanimously be wrong or right about any matter and more accepting as an individual and as a society.Giving people freedom of expression, connecting on personal level, appreciating each other’s opinions. Accepting the flaws we all humans are inherited with and above all giving space and benefit of doubt to people we come across on daily basis or on public forums. Working towards the mutual benefits and a better environment at work place can ensure prosperity.

–The writer is a student of MBA at CUST, Islamabad.