The Insider (1): Facebookers Manual On Effective Communication And Active Listening - Part 1

By Salimullah I. Hassan

written from African Management Initiative (AMI)
23rd July, 2016
Throughout our lives we learn how not to listen to others point of view, because we want to get our own way and win arguments, we want to save time, we are too lazy to listen and the discovery early in our lives that if we want win or get something, we need to shout louder than the other person.

Although I have previously promised to post on this topic I am just compelled to work on it now for what I behold as ‘Erratic and Eccentric’ behavior among facebookers to which I am already a victim. There is too often a conflict, harsh quarrel, abusive counterargument, and even typical abuse exchange between a facebook poster and reader. What happened in the last two days is a typical example, which means anyone can be a victim. We can possibly do without such erratic behaviours shall we be guided by the principles of good communication and active listening skills. What are these principles? As AMI manager I will share it now with those who want to learn and uphold to it.

In line with the above assertion, I will briefly shade more light on facebookers communication behavior. For the puoporse of this message I categorize facebookers into 2 main groups: Aggressive and Assertive Communicators.

Aggressive Communicators:- Aggressiveness represents dominant and hostile behavior of the majority facebookers. Aggressive Communicators shout their view louder and do not want to listen to others’ view and must win argument by all means, they think. Aggression assumes the other person has to submit and accepts no disagreement. Aggressive behaviour tends to lead to the other person either submitting passively, or fighting back with more aggression. If you call me a Shi’i or label me ‘animal’ for raising a point which you can’t stand its test, you are too aggressive to me. I may passively submit to your opinion for the fear that you start equating me with Shias. If I am not assertive and I don’t like to passively submit to you I may fight back with more aggression, thus damaging our mutual respect as facebooking friends. Only that if I am Assertive (which indeed I am) I will know how to handle you no matter how too abusive you appear to criticize me. Other example of aggressiveness include using words like: Abusives, kai jahili (oh you ingnorant) back to school, you become a shia, kafiri e.t.c. whatever name you want ascribe to a person you should know how to do it politely.

Some are using such expression to forcefully make you recant your opinion; thus making you submissive. Being submissive means allowing the need to be liked (or at least not be attacked), prevent you from expressing what you really want to say, and give in too easily to the aggressive behavior. A submissive person is wary of upsetting the other person or not hurting their feelings. Put in your mind that nobody can scare you away from expressing your view on topical issues just because they may call you with bad names, or at least they ascribe a bad religious ideology to you.   As from now try not to be Aggressive communicator in facebook and beyond.

Assertive Communicators – they believe in the power of Assertiveness – which refers to being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. Being assertive is the main source of influencing others view without being aggressive. I can cite example of some friends who thrive well in this quadrant among facebookers. As a Facebooker where you really want to be is in the Assertive quadrant. Being assertive means you are confident about your opinion and are willing to be disagreed with by others without being disrespectful. Being assertive will not only help you to put your point across but also earn respect from others. Being assertive means you respect both your own point of view and that of the other person, and you calmly and confidently insist on both hearing the other person and expressing yourself. My best colleague at school and one of the best inspirational masters in facebook is a typical example of an Assertive communicator, thought he needs to take some corrective measures to improve in this quadrant. This is more of our personal relation with him and we will discuss it as usual.
Share it as much as possible to improve our friendly facebook interaction and maintain our social media in piece, harmony and mutual respect. 

Till we meet in the Part 2 of this manual – To be continued Next week Insha Allah.

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