Tag Archives: Project Management

Effective Communication

20 Mar

There are many alternatives to workplace communication such as email, texting, voicemail, social media and face-to-face meetings.  The variety of options only proves to highlight the importance of selecting the most appropriate method of communication to facilitate the conversation (Richman, 2012).  Based on the given situation and message that has to be exchanged, the correct medium must be used and the proper cues must be included.  Communication is not just the words that you use but also the spirit and attitude that is employed (Stolovitch, n.d.).

In the face-to-face meeting presented, I felt the real urgency of the matter was lost a little in the facial gestures and the tone of the speaker.  Though she was professional and courteous, the casual nature of the interaction really detracted from the true meaning of the message.  The speaker’s posture of leaning on the wall gave that non-verbal cue of that the request is no big deal.  The smiling and more informal nature of the in-person meeting contradicted the urgency of the request.

The audio request eliminated the non-verbal cues of body language and facial expression that the face-to-face meeting had but still lacked the urgency of the request.  Though I would have expected the voicemail request to be less effective than the face-to-face meeting, I actually felt like there was more of a sense of urgency to the request.  The pace of the speaker seemed more direct and inflective.  Even though both the face-to-face and verbal methods of communication were cordial and professional, the voice mail conveyed the true importance that was required.

Surprisingly, I felt the most effective means of communication in this particular instance was the actual email.  Though it eliminated all tone, inflection and body language cues, it also eliminated any confusion those cues offered.  When communicating, the goal is to avoid any ambiguity in the message by being clear and concise (Portny et al., 2008).  In this case, the email followed the correct format of effective communication as presented by Stolovitch (n.d).  It showed a clear statement of purpose, stated the situation, exact requirements and potential consequences.   By offering alternative methods of communicating the data back to the requestor in a business friendly and respectful tone, I, as the recipient, felt most compelled to help.

According to Stolovitch (n.d.), the important information should be communicated live and in person with a written follow-up to ensure there is a record of the meeting.  When reading, listening to and watching the three different presentation formats, I was surprised that this postulation was not the most appropriate manner of communication in this instance.  Communication techniques are not one-size-fits-all proposals so they need to be tailored to the audience and environment individually (Stolovitch & Kramer, n.d.).  In this case, the email was the most appropriate way to communicate the message.  Words in a written communication must be taken at face value and, as long as there is no room for misinterpretation, the message will be conveyed completely.  Since this request was not complex it could be communicated through email in the most effective manner.  Words, facial expressions, posture, hand gestures, body language and tone are all factors in the interpretation of a message.  If any are conflicting with another, there could be confusion in the delivery of the meaning.

 

References

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.

Richman, B. (2012, August 17). Face-to-face communication can help you accomplish business objectives. Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/print-edition/2012/08/17/face-to-face-communication-can-help.html?page=all

Stolovitch, H. (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders.  . Lecture presented for Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2652514_1%26url%3D

Stolovitch, H. & Kramer, C. (n.d.). Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture.  . Lecture presented for Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved March 19, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2652514_1%26url%3D