Ethical rules of communication – highlighting the essence

Ethical rules. Ethical errors. Postulates of speech communication

Ethics of verbal communication begins with the observance of the conditions of successful verbal communication: with Benevolent attitude to the addressee, demonstration of interest in the conversation, sincere expression of one’s opinion, sympathetic attention. It prescribes to express the ideas in a clear form, being oriented to the world of knowledge of the addressee.. In dialogues and polylogues of intellectual, and also “game” or emotional character the choice of a theme and a tone of conversation is especially important. Signals of attention, participation, correct interpretation and sympathy are not only regulative remarks, but also paralinguistic means – mimicry, smile, gaze, gestures, posture. A special role in conducting a conversation belongs to the gaze.

The concept of ethics of speech communication is closely connected with the concept of ethical-speech norms. A. P. Skovorodnikov defines ethical-speech norm as: “a set of rules of speech communication (behavior), which ensure the harmonization of interests of those communicating on the basis of generally accepted moral values” [Culture of Russian speech, 2003, p.366]. And in the same dictionary article it is noted: “It should be borne in mind that in addition to the general ethical and speech norm, the observance of which is necessary in all situations of communication and in all statuses of the communicators, there are ethical and speech norms characteristic of certain professional spheres of communication: business, pedagogical, etc.” [Culture of Russian speech, 2003, p.60]. A. P. Skovorodnikov also points out: “The field of speech ethics includes speech etiquette, the rules of which are based on the principle of politeness (respectful attitude to the interlocutor)”. The article gives the following definition of speech ethics: “Speech ethics is the rules of proper speech behavior based on the norms of morality, national and cultural traditions” [Culture of Russian speech, 2003, p.366].

Е. M. Lazutkina points out in this connection that “ethical norms are embodied in special etiquette speech formulas and are expressed in statements by the whole ensemble of multilevel means: both by full-noun word forms, and by words of incomplete-noun parts of speech (particles, interjections). The main ethical principle of speech communication – the observance of parity – finds its expression, beginning with a greeting and ending with a farewell, throughout the entire conversation.

In every social system there is a special set of ethical laws, norms and rules regulating both speech and non-speech behavior. The observance of ethical prescriptions helps to ensure stability in various spheres of human activity; to preserve society as a whole and individuals; to restrain aggression and to prevent conflicts, including those threatening with lethal struggle and destruction of each other. Departure from generally accepted norms of morality, their “overthrow” leads to chaos, destabilization in society and threatens the well-being and life of everyone and the whole society. For centuries, every country has developed norms that become traditions, regulating relations in all spheres of human life. In Christian countries, for example, the ethical laws by which people lived were the commandments of the New Testament. The basis of Christian life was love for one’s neighbor with care for him, aspiration to such virtues as kindness, mercy, patience, anger, moderation, humility, chastity, pursuit of truth and removal from sin (pride, fornication, adultery, greed, envy, envy, falsehood, slander, condemning neighbors, etc.).

Modern European, American, and Russian secular ethics is in much the same way as Christian ethics.

There are currently two leading principles of communication in rhetorical science and practice: the principle of cooperation by G. P. Grice and J. Leach’s principle of politeness.

In the 1950s, the American philosopher Paul Grice, influenced by the ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the theory of speech acts, formulated the so-called communicative postulates. When people talk, there should be a tacit pact of speech cooperation between them, which includes the following points:

1. Speak neither much nor little, but exactly as much as is necessary to convey information adequately.

2. Stay on topic.

3. Tell only the truth.

4. To speak definitely, not ambiguously.

5. To speak politely, respecting the speech dignity of the interlocutor.

In scientific literature Paul Grice’s principle of cooperation is presented as a unity of maxims, which, according to the scientist, determine the contribution of participants of the communicative act to the speech situation uniting them. Each maxim consists of several postulates. The maxims are four.

Paul Grice’s maxims, which form the basis of the principle of cooperation:

Ethical rules of communication

Communication as an activity plays the most important role in human life. It is both a way to make any connections, relationships, and an opportunity to convey one’s thoughts, as well as an urgent psychological need. People who consider themselves unsociable, in fact, just a more selective approach to the choice of interlocutors, consciously limiting the circle of people with whom they spend time. For communication to be effective and not to leave an unpleasant aftertaste behind, it must be ethical.

The rules of such communication, first of all, include politeness. Interlocutors should not raise their voice at each other or be rude. This will not only lead to damaged relations, but will transfer the conversation from a constructive dialogue to a destructive monologue. If one of the participants in the conversation has allowed himself to switch to personalities and rudeness, you should tell him that the conversation in such a tone can not take place, and to stop it, at least until he manages to pull himself together. As a rule, a polite and firm tone in response to a raise of voice quickly sobered the person, and it is quite possible to return to the normal course of dialogue.

Another option that can derail a conversation is veiled insults. They are usually said in a calm tone and are not overtly rude, but in the context of the situation they achieve their purpose and humiliate the interlocutor. In the presence of outsiders, whether or not they are privy to the topic and involved in the conversation, the person to whom the insults were directed feels even more humiliated. While rudeness and raising one’s voice can be put down to an uncontrollable outburst of rage, veiled insults are carefully crafted expressions. Therefore, upon hearing them, it is best to end the dialogue in a calm tone. If the interlocutors were alone, there is no need for any explanation. If someone was present during the conversation, if you wish, you can briefly explain why it cannot continue.

In general, to express disagreement with the interlocutor can only be in correct form and only on the essence of the dialogue, without switching to personalities. This ensures the most productive conversation, which will leave behind a pleasant impression. If the interlocutor brings arguments, it is necessary to challenge them on the merits. In the end, even if the participants of the dialogue do not come to a common solution, they will leave a pleasant impression of each other, which, thanks to the observance of ethical norms, will allow them in the future to freely continue communicating.

If the idea expressed during the conversation was understood by the interlocutor and did not cause additional questions, it is not worth repeating it several times. This irritates the other participants of the conversation, giving the impression that the speaker assesses his or her mental abilities higher than the others. In addition, it gives the impression of him as a tedious person who, not having anything new to say in essence, repeats the same thing several times. Perhaps he will not hear anything to his face, but by practicing this move constantly, he will generally form a bad impression of himself. And this may well lead to a lack of desire on the part of others to communicate with him unnecessarily.

It is very important for the conduct of the conversation to be able to admit his wrongdoing in time. Provided that a person commands respect, this does not humiliate, but rather elevates him in the eyes of the interlocutor. In order to admit that in the situation under discussion the truth was on the side of the opponent, you need a certain courage, the presence of which unequivocally causes a good attitude. Adding to this the absence of desire to persist in his wrongdoing, the interlocutor, as a rule, begins to respect him even more. Well, and the lack of competence in this particular matter on the background of an excellent impression does not play a special role. All this is relevant, of course, only if the situation does not repeat itself often.

If we are talking about a conversation on the phone or a business conversation over the Internet, a complete lack of ethics will make the interlocutor wait a long time. All urgent matters that can divert attention to themselves, it is desirable to end before the start of the conversation to have a quiet conversation, without making the interlocutor constantly feel that he is distracting from important matters. Otherwise, the conversation may end with the interlocutor either directly expressing his displeasure, or saying that he has a lot to do, and it is advisable to move the conversation to a more convenient time for both. Which, by the way, may never come.

Difficulties in communication sooner or later occur in all people. However, observing simple ethical norms can help to reduce them to a minimum, freely finding a common language with family, relatives, co-workers, friends and just people around. This is the only way to truly enjoy the company of others, having long conversations about high matters in a friendly company or exchanging a few words about the weather with a casual acquaintance.

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