Ethical Communication by yasir.awan


									          ETHICAL COMMUNICATION

Ethical communication


1. The branch of philosophy that deals with morality. Ethics is concerned with distinguishing
    between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between
    virtuous and non virtuous characteristics of people.

    2. Ethics refers to standards of conduct, standards that indicate how one should behave
    based on moral duties and virtues, which themselves are derived from principles of right
    and wrong.

    3. What stops a person from stealing? What is that little voice born from conscience that
    halts a person in their steps? Morals---our interpretation of right and wrong. Morals are
    learned from an early age and help us distinguish good conduct from bad, both in
    ourselves and others. When these morals are lumped together as a standard for society's
    behavior, they're called ethics. A system of morals that are studied, recommended and
    accepted by society is ethics.


Following are the major types of ethics

     Personal Ethics
     Applied Ethics
     Business Ethics
     Relational Ethics
     Military Ethics


Personal ethics referred as the rules by which an individual lives his or her personal life. In
today's world, individuals can make a single decision that can have a profoundly positive or
negative affect on their family, their employer, coworkers, a nation, and even on the entire
world. The life we lead reflects the strength of a single trait: our personal character.
Personal ethics are different for each person but for the most part, people want to be
known as a good person, someone who can be trusted, and he or she are concerned
about his or her relationships and personal reputations.


Applied ethics is a discipline of philosophy that attempts to apply ethical theory to real-life
situations. It is thus a term used to describe attempts to use philosophical methods to
identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life. Bioethics, for
example, is concerned with identifying the correct approach to matters such as euthanasia,
or the allocation of scarce health resources, or the use of human embryos in
research. Environmental ethics is concerned with questions such as the duties of humans
towards landscapes or species. Business ethics concerns questions such as the limits on
managers in the pursuit of profit, or the duty of 'whistleblowers' to the general public as
opposed to their employers. As such, it is a study which is supposed to involve
practitioner’s as much as professional philosophers.


Business ethics examines ethical principles and moral or Ethical problems that arise in a
business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the
conduct of individuals and business organizations as a whole. Business ethics is the
behavior that a business adheres to in its daily dealings with the world. The ethics of a
particular business can be diverse. They apply not only to how the business interacts with
the world at large, but also to their one-on-one dealings with a single customer.

Many businesses have gained a bad reputation just by being in business. To some people,
businesses are interested in making money, and that is the bottom line. It could be called
capitalism in its purest form. Making money is not wrong in itself. It is the manner in which
some businesses conduct themselves that brings up the question of ethical behavior.
Good business ethics should be a part of every business.


Relational ethics are related to an ethics of care. They are used in qualitative research.
Researchers who employ relational ethics value and respect the connection between
themselves and the people they study, and "between researchers and the communities in
which they live and work". Relational ethics also help researchers understand difficult
issues such as conducting research on intimate others that have died and developing
friendships with their participants.


Military ethics is a set of practices and philosophy to guide members of the armed forces to
act in a manner consistent with the values and standards as established by military
tradition, and to actively clarify and enforce these conditions rigorously in its administrative
structure. Military ethics is evolutionary and the administrative structure is modified as new
ethical perspectives consistent with national interests evolve.


A code is a statement of policies, principles or rules that guides behavior. The set of
dynamic principles derived from the HOLY QURAN shall guide us are stated as follow:-

      Express your opinion in a frank, open and a           straight forward manner. (SURA-E-
       AHZAB, AYAT # 70)

      Not criticize another’s work without his knowledge, nor malign or abjure his
       reputation. (SURA-E-HIJRAT, AYAT # 12)

      Your advice should be based on the full knowledge of facts and honest conviction.
       You should not write in self, laudatory language or in any manner derogatory to the
       dignity of   profession. (SURA-E-BANI       ISRAEL AYAT # 36)

      Help other in upholding and doing i.e. what is         right and shall not associate with
       those who     indulge   in   unethical   practices.     (SURA-E MAHIDA AYAT # 2)

      ALLAH command you to renders back your trust             to those to whom they are due.
       You shall be honest, faithful and just and shall not act in any manner derogatory to
       honors, integrity and dignity of others. (SURA-E- NISA AYAT# 58)


Right from birth, we have been taught and embedded with what is right and what is wrong.
Ethics is a trait that most of us acquire, the difference being in the values and perspectives
which make it difficult for us to achieve. Further, the only problem lies in the way ethics are
taught to people. Whether at work, home, or school, ethics form an essential part of every
human being and hence, should be practiced by everyone, everywhere.

Inhibits Knowledge:-
First and foremost, ethical norms help in gaining knowledge, analyzing the truth, and
avoiding any chances of errors while examining any given circumstance or situation. Thus,
ethics are most efficient for avoiding errors and prohibiting against fabricating, falsifying, or
misrepresenting any data.

Enhances Cooperation:-
Working in any organization or workplace demands great deal of cooperation and
coordination amongst people at different levels and different fields. As such, different
values are promoted and shared amongst these people, such as trust, accountability,
mutual respect, and fairness. These only contribute to better and improved working
conditions, growth, and success, in turn.

Assists In Dealings:-
The right sense of thinking can help us deal with people on a daily basis in the right and
positive manner. The absence of the right approach and wrong sense can only induce
negative feelings, thereby affecting our communication with people as well. Ethics, which
are built on trust, help in treating everyone as the children of GOD and love everyone.
Hence, ethics that we pass onto others reveals the correct way of living.

Builds Public Support:-
By following proper ethical norms, they ensure building positive and strong public support.
Say, for example, people are more likely to invest in a project or fund if they are
guaranteed about the quality and integrity of the project. However, if they are unsure of the
quality and growth, they probably will step back and look for another similar project that will
fulfill their demand.

    Promotes Moral & Social Values:-
    Ethics are considered to be of utmost importance simply because they assist in promoting
    other significant moral and social values. As such, values like social responsibility, human
    rights, animal welfare, compliance with the law, and health and safety, are some that are
    supported through practicing proper ethics. Any flaw in our values will reduce our ability to
    achieve success in our endeavors. For example, a person who fabricates data in a clinical
    trial can harm or even kill patients.


Following are the factors that cause an increase in ethical standard.

    Public disclosure/publicity.
    Increased concern of well informed people.
    Teaching of ethical values in business and other schools and universities.
    Increased professionalism of business managers.
    Government regulations.


    It has become evident by way of some widely publicized areas. In the light of his analysis
    gleeman made several suggestions such as following:

    Provide clear guideline for ethical behavior.
    Conduct frequent or unpredictable audits.
    Punish trespassers in a meaningful way and make it public so that it may dater others.
    Emphasize regularly that loyalty to the company does not excuse improper behavior or
    Teach ethical guidelines and their importance.
    Set up controls (for example, establish an audit agency) that check on illegal or unethical



Truthfulness is basis of all ethics and virtues. There is a truth of words, a truth of action and
a truth of attitude. It is not enough for any individual what he says is true; he should also
act in accordance with what he believes to be true, and his attitude ought to be in
conformity with what he considers to be true. How truthfulness can be the foundation of
virtues and a sure and effective means of keeping a person away from evil is illustrated in
a well-known hadith. It is reported that a man came to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.)
and confessed that he was addicted to so many vices like theft, telling lies, drunkenness,
and fornication. So he has arrived with an earnest desire to be reformed and longs for his
advice how to get rid of his moral depravity. But at the same time he asked for only one
sinful habit what the Prophet chose as the most heinous and promised to give it up. The
Prophet said: “Give up telling a lie.” The man promised to abide by it scrupulously. During
the following night he was tempted to drink but it crossed to his mind “if the Prophet asks
me about my doings, I will have to tell the truth but could I dare to tell him about my
drinking and face him without shame?” The very thought made him refrain from drinking.
Similarly when he was tempted to commit theft in the darkness of the night, the idea of
confessing it before the Prophet made him to desist from committing theft. Likewise he did
away with all his sinful doings. The next morning he went to the Prophet and told him that
he was lucky enough to be relieved of all his sins merely by evading untruthfulness. It is
the truthfulness of people that leads them to God’s forgiveness and favors and a great
reward in the world hereafter; only their truthfulness shall benefit them on the Day of


Personal ethics act as the foundation for your moral compass; the internal guide that tells
you what’s right and wrong. They drive your actions and, to a certain extent, your
emotions, on a daily basis. But where do they come from? And why do people who
appear similar sometimes have completely different sets of personal ethics?
You may not realize that the ethical principles you’ve built your life on are not an
established set of rules handed to you at birth. They grow and develop with you over time
and many things influence how they’re crafted.


While your parents can’t dictate your morality, they are typically the first to voice and
demonstrate ethical boundaries for you. Most parents consider it one of their critical jobs to
instill a strong sense of right and wrong in their children. When parents tell their children
that stealing is wrong, they are building a foundation for their child’s personal ethics. How
parents behave has a strong impact as well. Children absorb the actions of their family,
which contributes heavily to their sense of morality.


Religious beliefs have a unique impact on personal ethics. In general, religion allows
people to accept an established set of moral rules. By following these spiritual laws, people
feel they are behaving ethically. Religion often promises rewards in the afterlife as
motivation for following the “rules”. Interestingly, religion can inspire all kinds of acts,
including violence. Some devout followers can come to embrace an ethical code that
allows for incredible cruelty to be done in the name of a greater spiritual being.


Culture can dictate the ethical norms that people are used to and come to expect. The
culture you live in may impact your ethical code more than you even realize, simply
because it surrounds you. The customs and traditions of the society you inhabit become
ingrained in your psyche, and the ethics of the group are generally accepted. Racism,
gender discrimination and other forms of prejudice can become an accepted part of a
person’s ethical standards when surrounded by people who do it and allow it.


The events that happen in your life can also impact your ethics. Emotion and personal
understanding may cause a powerful shift in beliefs. For example, many people claim to
be against the death penalty. However, if a loved one is murdered, they may find
themselves feeling differently when looking into the eyes of the person responsible.


Personal ethics are also developed by our feelings. When we do something that is against
our moral code, we feel bad, guilty or ashamed. Likewise, when we do something that fits
into our ethical idea of “right” we feel good, proud or happy. This causes a sort of
immediate feedback for creating our moral standards.


    Seek to “elicit the best” in communications and interactions with other group members.
    Listen when others speak.
    Seek to understand others (rather than to be “right” or “more ethical than thou”).
    Avoid speaking for others, for example by characterizing what others have said without
     checking your understanding, or by universalizing your opinions, beliefs, values, and
    Manage your own personal boundaries: share only what you are comfortable sharing.
    Respect the personal boundaries of others.
    Speak non-judgmentally.
    Speak from your own experience and perspective, expressing your own thoughts, needs,
     and feelings.
    Avoid interrupting and side conversations.
    Make sure that everyone has time to speak, that all members have relatively equal “air
     time” if they want it.


Communication ethically in business area challenges you on several levels.


Legal consideration such as defamation privacy is concern in all organizations. Individual
or the company can be sued for defamation of the character. Although they are legal
issues but they are also ethical issues as they are related to the basic principles of honesty
and human dignity.


Our laws protect individual privacy. Large data bases credit, marketing research, firms and
medical companies collect our personal data that has greatly increased chances that our
private information can become public.


It involves irritating or tormenting another person on repeated basis. It is a poor way of
communicating feelings and violates respect for other.


It is also an ethical issue. It involve taking the ideas from other and presenting it as one’s
own ,such behavior is unethical because it involve misrepresentation and denies original
author proper acknowledgement.


Questions of right and wrong arise whenever people communicate. Ethical communication
is fundamental to responsible thinking, decision making, and the development of
relationships       and         communities       within      and       across        contexts,
cultures, channels, and media. Moreover, ethical communication enhances human worth
and dignity by fostering truthfulness, fairness, responsibility, personal integrity, and respect
for self and others. We believe that unethical communication threatens the quality of all
communication and consequently the well-being of individuals and the society in which we

Following are the principles of ethical communication:-

       Truthfulness, accuracy, honesty, and reason as           essential to the integrity of

         Freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, and tolerance of dissent to
        achieve the informed and responsible decision making fundamental to a civil

       To understand and respect other communicators before evaluating and responding
        to their messages.
       Promote access to communication resources and opportunities as necessary to
        fulfill human potential.
       Promote communication climates of caring and mutual understanding that respect
        the unique needs and characteristics of individual communicators.
       Condemn communication that degrades individuals and humanity through
        distortion, intimidation, coercion, and violence, and through the expression of
        intolerance and hatred.
       Be committed to the courageous expression of personal convictions in pursuit of
        fairness and justice.
       Sharing information, opinions, and feelings when facing significant choices while
        also respecting privacy and confidentiality.
       Accept responsibility for the short- and long-term consequences for our own
        communication and expect the same of others.

         Be truthful. Statements that are misleading or untrue should never be made. It is
    also not ethical to tell partial truths or to exaggerate.
   Be sure to label opinions as opinions. Do not attempt to convince anyone that something
    you   merely   believe    to   be   true   is   already     a   proven   fact.   Do   the   work;
    research thoroughly and assure yourself that you aren't just representing another
    person's opinion as your own.
   Do not show bias. Understand that your own subjective beliefs may come through in your
    writing. Even if you are passionate in your opinions, ethics call for you to be
    dispassionate in your presentation.
   Your communications should be easy to understand. You should put down your thoughts
    clearly, so they are simple to comprehend. Make sure that what you write can be easily
    understood by the reader. Don't muddy the waters by using convoluted sentences and all
    sorts of hard-to-comprehend industry jargon.
   Credit your sources. Do not copy anyone's work. Most people have the basic knowledge
    that they must use quotation marks if they are using a direct quote from another writer.
    Yet there are a number of people who do not understand that they need to properly credit
    other people's ideas as well. You are still cheating if you paraphrase sentences and
    throw in a handful of new words without crediting the author.


The principles governing communication, the right and wrong aspects of it, the moral-
immoral dimensions relevant to Interpersonal communication are called the ethics of
Interpersonal communication.

In interpersonal communication, one person is speaking while the other person is listening.
Maintaining the correct balance between the speaking and listening phases is one part of
the ethics of Interpersonal communication. One of the most widely discussed ethical issues
in communication is the legitimacy of fear and emotional appeal. It is difficult to determine
how fear or emotions prevent certain choices. The degree of criticism and praise is another
ethical matter that concerns Interpersonal communication. It is vital to maintain an
appropriate magnitude of both elements during the communication. A dearth or an
overdose of either of the factors could result in unfavorable consequences. Of course the
principle of honesty on both sides should be completely applied because any amount of
insincerity from either the listener or the speaker would not be prudent.




Be sure that your message is in the best interest of audience. Purpose of message should
not include any disguised intentions that in anyway harm others


It is the responsibility of a speaker is to check that his/her goals are ethically sound. If you
are to be a good communicator, you can not escape assessing the ethical soundness on
your goals.


All sources of information used as a research material should be recent, reliable and


Chosen information should communicate ideas fairly. Sources must be representative of
the information available. Propaganda technique should be prohibited.


There is a assumption in ethical communication that “words can be trusted and people will
be truthful”. Without this assumption, there is no basis for communication, no reason for
person to believe any thing that another persons says. It will make a bond of trust between
speaker and listener.


Too much reliance should not be given to emotional appeals. Reasoning should be logical.
There should no distortion of information. Information should be accurate and relevant.


Language employed should be easily understood by listeners. Language should be
concrete avoiding all ambiguities, abstractions and slangs. Language should display
respect for listeners.


Listener’s values. Feeling and attitudes should be considered in communication.


Advertising is a form of communication used to influence individuals to purchase products
or services or support political candidates or ideas. Frequently it communicates a message
that includes the name of the product or service and how that product or service could
potentially benefit the consumer. Advertising often attempts to persuade potential
customers to purchase or to consume a particular brand of product or service. Modern
advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20


Following are the ethical guideline for advertising.


Some advertising is simply and deliberately untrue. Generally speaking, though, the
problem of truth in advertising is somewhat more subtle: it is not that advertising says what
is overtly false, but that it can distort the truth by implying things that are not so or
withholding relevant facts. To be sure, advertising has its own conventions and forms of
stylization, and these must be taken into account when discussing truthfulness. People
take for granted some symbolic exaggeration in advertising; within the limits of recognized
and accepted practice, this can be allowable.


Advertising         can   violate      the    dignity   of      the     human      person    both
through       its     content       (what    is   advertised,     the     manner      in    which
it is advertised) and through the impact it seeks to make upon its audience.

Much advertising directed at children apparently tries to explicit their credulity and
suggestibility, in the hope that they will put pressure on their parents to buy products of no
real benefit to them. Advertising like this offends against the dignity and rights of both
children and parents; it intrudes upon the parent – child relationship and seeks to
manipulate it to its own base ends. Also, some of the comparatively little advertising
directed specifically to the elderly or culturally disadvantaged seems designed to play upon
their fears so as to persuade them to allocate some of their limited resources to goods or
services of dubious value.


Advertisement technique should be reliable enough to be scrutinized by any customer
product magazine.


Product should be presented using clear and straight forward language. Exaggerated
claims should be avoided.


They should accurately depict product. Significant information should not bi in small print or
placed in an unobtrusive spot.


Communication is a two way process. Speaker has some duties so listener has also some
ethical responsibilities.


Listeners have the responsibility to be courteous and attentive during the communication.
This responsibility is especially in speech important in speech class. Students are in
learning process so they need to support each other. When you listen to speeches in class,
give your fellow your students the same courtesy and attention you want from them. As
you listen, be conscious of the feedback you are sending the speaker. Maintain eye
contact with your speaker, show support and encouragement in your facial expressions.
Keep in mind the power you have as a listener over the speaker confidence, exercise that
power with strong sense of responsibility.


You can’t judge a speech by the name, race, lifestyle, appearance or reputation f the
speaker. It is the of listener to listen to the speaker before deciding whether to accept o
reject what he or she saying. Listener aim is to listen carefully to the speaker ideas to
assess the evidence and reasoning offered in support of these ideas, and to reach an
intelligent judgment about the speech.


Speaker need to avoid name calling and other tactics that can undermine free speech. So
the listener has an obligation to maintain the right of speaker to be heard. It is important to
keep in mind that ensuring a person’s freedom to express his or her ideas does not amply
agreement with those ideas. Listener can disagree with the message entirely but still
support the speaker’s right to express it.


We communicate our values and beliefs to others via verbal and non-verbal
communication. We are defined in the eyes of others according to the way we behave. We
have a responsibility to act in ways that promote honesty and fairness to maximize
personal worth of each person. Ethical people should speak out when something wrong is
portrayed. Often we know what’s right but we lack impetus or collective feeling to act

I pray to ALMIGHTY ALLAH that he blessed us with an ethical acumen and fortify us so
much that we can shatter unethical practices followed in our society.


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