Choosing effective forms of communication is very important in a today's market and cut throat world. Effective communication can open doors to endless possibilities. With the right skills jobs are more accessible and easier to keep, the chances of landing a promotion are more likely, productivity in can increase and the over all success of the company will benefit, providing job security. Effective communication also helps build lasting relationships, both professionally and personally.
What types of communication are acceptable and most effective? Well, that solely depends on the message that is being passed, along with the importance. There are many ways to deliver communication, wether oral or written.
Questions to ask before deciding on a communication form:
Is a permanent record of this communication important?
Permanent record messages are best done written, instead of orally. Oral can just turn into a case of he said, she said. Documentation can include an e-mail, written report, a letter or a memo. If the letter is to be mailed, certification and signature on delivery can have legal value if need be.
Is the receiver going to be accepting of the communication?
Is it bad or good news? Good news is acceptable as a written message. However, bad news or events that are difficult to understand can be more acceptable as a face to face communication. It could be necessary and a good idea to see the persons reaction to the message being received to get that verbal and non verbal communication. Not to mention, people feel better about receiving more personal and bad news face to face other than written notes and phone conversations.
How long is the message being sent?
Long messages can be best sent as a document that has been edited to make it's complexity easier to follow and understand. It is necessary to make a document that flows well and holds the receiver's attention. However, the best part is that the receiver can look back and refer to the message for a better understanding or to get needed information.
How many people will receive the message?
When a large amount of people can't gather together to receive the same message, written is the best from of communication. It is more effective and efficient. For a small group of people, when at the same location, a oral face to face can be more time efficient and productive. However, when delivering news that will not be well accepted, face to face is the proper form of communication.
Is the credibility of the communication important?
When credibility is a factor, the most effective form of communication is a written letter on an official document, such as a companies letterhead. E-mail messages and oral communication is not acceptable forms of credible communication.
Is time of the essence? Is feedback needed?
When messages are urgent, require immediate answers, action or feedback, the message will be most effective as a phone call. When documentation is necessary a fax with a delivery confirmation or a email with a return receipt might provide as an alternative.
If a message is extremely important or a sensitive issue, more than one form might be necessary as effective means of communication. Many times a short oral communication followed by a written memo or letter will provide confirmation of the details of the conversation.