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Communicating and the Art of Getting together

Jemila and Fithi are not only work mates but they are also good friends. One Saturday afternoon they had to attend a work mate’s wedding ceremony. One of the many invited guests, Samia, saw Jemila along with her friend Fithi from far when she entered the wedding hall. Samia is a friend of Jemila. She greeted Jemila and asked whether she could join the table. Jemila welcomed her and introduced her to Fithi. “It is good to know people”, said Samia. You will like her added Jemila. Fithi is my intimate friend. She is a voracious reader. We enjoy exchanging ideas on many topics. Fithi was rather shy and humbly reciprocated the compliment. Fithi said to Samia. I would tell you frankly that it is Jemila who taught me the art of reading. Ever since, I can not let my hands away from holding and my eyes from scanning the pages of any good book that will come over my lap. By the way said, Jemila to Fithi, Samia runs her own business and she holds a post graduate degree in Business Management. It is good to have her here as a friend and as an exemplary woman entrepreneur. There is a lot to learn from this brilliant young lady. Samia was taken by surprise and she immediately expressed her humility. I think it would be me who will learn from you two great readers. To be honest, it has been quite a while since I stopped reading merely because I am preoccupied with my business. I would, however, I have to admit that it is rather a lame excuse. I think I have to revitalize my addiction of reading books. Anyway how are you Jemila and how are your families and friends said Samia, attempting to change the tune of their discussions. “We are all fine”, said Jemila, “How about yours” she added. In short it is quite great responded Samia.

Meanwhile Filmon and Sami, two work mates of Jemila and Fithi were entering the hall keeping themselves some meters apart. Fithi caught a glimpse of them. She said, “I can not understand why these two people working in the same department have never been in good terms for many years. It is sad to see them that they never talk and they never greet each other. “Is there any serious issue between these two guys” asked Samia. Jemila has to intervene. “No” she said.  It all started when there was a meeting. Both were stubborn to accept the other party’s opinion on a given discussion. Filmon is stubborn while Sami is open minded and a good listener.  Fithi appeared to have agreed with Jemila’s view point.

Mean while the bride and bride groom, escorted by their best men and women, were ceremoniously entering the wedding hall. There was a warm applause and ululations coupled with the glorious traditional songs. Finally the bride and the bride groom took their seats. The three young ladies Jemila, Fithi and Samia were already bored due to the seemingly endless stay waiting for the newly weds to arrive.

Samia was interested by the story of the two young men Filmon and Sami not getting along. She thought they might have some personal issues to resolve out of the work place. She asked them both whether the two young men had some grudge because of their personal matters such as fighting for a girl friend? They both laughed. Fithi was the first to respond. She said that their only fight is at the work place. Rather being taken aback “Don’t you think this is absurd”, exclaimed, Samia. She further added, “You guys need training on “communicating- getting together and building relationships”

“Well” said Jemila. This is quite an interesting discussion. Let us slip out of this boring wedding hall and let us go somewhere else. We have already been seen by the host family and that is enough she added. Fithi seems to challenge her. Oh Jemila at least let the meal be served. What will people say? I think it is a good idea, said Samia. Let me invite you somewhere and let us have interesting evening over this important topic. “The majority wins” said Fithi while smiling; let us slip one by one.  Finding them out of the wedding hall, Samia suggested that she will drive them to Asmara Palace and find a secluded place there. They all agreed.

We will have a nice pizza, if not a sumptuous repast, for the evening pronounced Samia. Thank you said Jemila. I would, however, enjoy your lecture on getting together more than the pizza. Sure that is what it interests me, responded Samia. At Asmara Palace they found a nice private place and made themselves comfortable.

Addressing to Samia “So let us hear what you will share us, young lady, said Jemila while smiling. I do not think you will need a power point or a projector she added simply to tease her.  You are always outspoken and full of humor Jemila, responded Samia. Fithi joined the warm smile.

After a brief silence it was Samia who broke the ice. I would say, as many scholars seem to agree, that, she went on to say, it would rather be unthinkable for one to find one self keeping grudge with a work mate. People could, in many instances, have differences of opinion. This of course should not lead them to an endless hate scenario. Both will be losers and their organization is the one to suffer most. Getting along is applicable in any environment. In our discussions, however, we will concentrate in the work place. Samia emphasized that any activity could not be accomplished by one person. It is a collective input of the entire staff. Therefore irrespective of the differences of opinion it would be essential for all parties to solve their difference objectively and intelligently.

“Would it not be yielding to someone’s ideas if you simply come to an agreement” interrupted Fithi. Sure it might appear to some people, argued Samia, especially those who are stubborn. But it is not a question of yielding it is a matter of scientifically understanding the subject matter. People should work together, added Samia, irrespective of their differences of opinion.  It would rather be contemptible to observe some people shouting on others and thus quashing the organization’s performance.  There are those who demonstrate their dominant manners. It would be difficult to work with such kind of people. However relentless training can shape such kind of people. Jemila and Fithi’s attentive listening motivated Samia to pour out what her brain has kept in reserve.  When Samia paused for a moment, Jemila got the opportunity to intervene. She asked. “How would it be possible to bring two people like Filmon and Sami into terms considering their bitter enmity”?  What enmity are you talking about, Jemila retorted Samia. These people have simply created antagonism in their brain. Had they sit together and analyzed the core issue, I am sure they would have reproached themselves. Fithi was quick to interrupt. Are there some guidelines to shape this people into their former harmonious situation again? Sure there are was Samia’s quick response.

First and foremost one has to know the art of communication. We have to know that communication is a vast discipline of study. In brief however, one has to realize that the other party needs to be recognized and be treated equally. What it matters is that one has to show caring, respect and fairness. When necessary there should be appreciation and acceptance thus showing the needed affection. According to researchers it is said that 75 percent of all interpersonal communication is conducted in the tolerance, avoidance, or revulsion mode of communicating. Review the communication style for acceptance and appreciation. Notice that we smile and our voice is warmer and softer. The words we use are nicer, and our body language is more open. Our hands are out with our palms turned up. We touch the other person or are closer to him/her. We have eye-to-eye contact and demonstrate through verbal and nonverbal communication how much we accept and appreciate the individual.

Secondly separate the problem from the people. Pursue a “working” relationship.
In other words they have to concentrate on the problem rather than focusing on the person. This will avoid personalizing matters. It is commonly said “How dare he/she talks to me like that”. This will affect the adrenalin and blow out our emotions. As you know we are all prone to attacking the person instead of attacking the problem. In such situation things seems irreconcilable and it all goes in disarray.  If the discussants concentrate on the problem, it is very likely that they will find common solution and learn from each other.

Thirdly we feel like wining a contest instead of solving the issue.  Outside the discussion area one would tell his/her friends how one has dealt a blow over the other party and that he succeeded on how he/she has silenced him. Considering oneself as if one is in side the boxing ring negates the basic principles of communicating and getting together. Such attitude will simply will worsen the walking away of the other party.

Fourth we assume that there is no need to talk. It is common to hear I will never talk with her/him. This is because we intend to tell people what to do and deny them a two way communication. This is a one direction approach. It is essential that we have also to hear from them for all the profound analysis. In such situation communication is doomed to failure to the detriment of the group or organization.

Fifth. It will be to the mutual advantage if the messages that are sent out are clear and discernible. Sending mixes messages confuse matters and lead to breaking of relationships.

Sixth. One of the striking features in communication is to control one’s emotions. Developing an awareness of our and the other parties emotions will straighten matters for excellent discussions. One has to acknowledge ones emotions and take charge of one behavior.  In other words one has to get prepared for emotions before they flare up to a commotion and the resultant disruption of the discussions. It will be essential to frankly talk about emotions.

Seventh. Gentle people accept responsibilities. One has to be accountable for ones action. This is to indicate that one has to be rational. If one is confronted with emotional reaction by the other party one has to balance emotions with reason

Lastly but not the least is that one has to have the ability of understanding. Even if one would feel that one is not being understood try to understand the other party. It happens that if one is eager to talk but not listen it indicates that he want to coerce the other party to listen. Ultimately all expect good substantive outcomes and enjoy the inner peace at the end of the discussions. It needs communication skill to deal with differences. When one is reliable and attempts to persuade than apply any sort of coercion one will build confidence by the other party.

However there should not be confusion between good relations and approval. People miss-interpret good relations with approval. For example one secretary said that she has good relations with her boss because he grants her frequent salary increment. Good relations do not mean that any action by the other party has to be blindly approved. On occasions one should be reprimanded for actions that would not be acceptable.  The fact that leads us to disagreements and grudge is because we feel that our goals should be avoiding disagreements. It is only by intelligently solving our disagreements that we can guarantee the path towards successful growth in our organization.

Thank you Samia, stated, Fithi. . It is quite impressive and articulate. You made me feel as if I am in class room reminiscent of my scholastic years.

This is only the tip of the ice burg, responded Samia. She added we will need to meet frequently so that we can have an in-depth knowledge of communicating and the need of getting together.

Jemila was the next to speak. Samia it is quite eloquent. I have always admired you. I hope you will win an international award as a young and brilliant entrepreneur. Samia was rather bashful. She thanked both ladies for their compliments. Let us enjoy our pizza, Samia said, and go home before it is too late till we meet the next time


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