Effective Communication

The medium in which a message is communicated can make a huge difference in how that message is interpreted. There are multiple ways to send a message and a recent scenario I was given showed how the same message delivered through different platforms can affect how it is interpreted.

Email

The first version of the message was sent through email. It was straight to the point and asked the receiver to help find some missing information. It seemed rather cold, even though at the end the sender said they appreciated the help.

Voicemail

The second version used exactly the same script, but the inflections in the voice made it seem a little friendlier and less demanding.

Face-to-Face

The third version was a video of a face-to-face interaction between the receiver and sender of the message. In this version the inflections were there, but also the non-verbal aspects of communication could be seen, such as the smile on the sender’s face.

 As a project manager, given these examples, it is easy to see that having face-to-face meetings would be the preferred method of communication. Obviously this is not always possible, so using methods that allowed voice communication would be the choice over email. Email would be good to use as a visual reminder that has specific details that could be lost or missed with other methods.

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One thought on “Effective Communication

  1. miagordon2014

    Great Post! I agree with your statement that said having a face to face meeting would be a preferred method of communication.
    Face to face discussions allow for clarifying questions about content, meaning and the implications of the shared information.
    It is also a way that the PM can verify that “their audience received and interpreted their message in the way intended” (Portney et. al.)
    Verbal face to face communication also allows for the participants to pick up non-verbal cues, interact with the message and discuss further.
    However, it is important to confirm in writing the vital information that was shared in the discussion, especially if there is something team members must follow up on.

    Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

    Reply

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