How do you pick the method of communication?
Effective communication considers the right message, at the right time through the right channel. Hopefully, the message you need to communicate has been crafted and considered (that should be a given), but what about the delivery method? Picking the wrong channel could actually undermine the message you want to send. Imagine you have an employee celebrating 20 years of service to the company, sending a text message instead of making a speech and presenting an award at a company meeting might convey the wrong message, (no matter how many emojis you use.) The text message can’t carry the weight of honor you need it to.
High-level communicators know what they need to say and choose the best way to say it.
God is the perfect example of picking the right message at the right time in the right way.
God delivered his message in person. God could have delivered his message of salvation in many other ways, but he chose His most valued way to demonstrate the importance of the message. Jesus, not only brought the message but also demonstrated it as an example for everyone to see and put into practice.
It is more important than ever to pick the most effective ways to communicate with your clients, employees, and vendors. There is a myriad of options to choose your means of communication, video calls, 1-1 meetings, staff meetings, phone calls, email, text, social media, podcasts, blogs, memos – to name a few, and with more people than ever working remote, how do you pick the best method?
It is useful to think about the strength of each channel. I think we have all been in a meeting that could have been an email. Here are a few thoughts that might help you cultivate the best message.
Consider whether the message requires the support of body language or tone of voice. In any case of conflict resolution or in the case of conveying sensitive information this must be accounted for. I have found that collaborative meetings are better done in person but that it is good to put some boundaries on them and to have a clear agenda with action items.
Face to Face is good for:
- Facilitate discussion for immediate action
- Discuss complex, confidential, or sensitive topics
- Share high-level or detailed news/updates
- Ensure messages reach receivers
- Quick feedback and input
- Encourage two-way dialogue
Written Communication is good for:
- Sharing detailed information and data
- Keeping a record of your communication
- Important, directional and time sensitive information
- Providing an online source for more information
- Provide brief status updates
Social Media is good for:
- Establishing an open dialogue with customers
- Feedback from the comments section
- Engagement among employees and customers
- Integrating and sharing content from different platforms
Text Message is good for:
- Notifications about safety/weather/travel
- Meeting reminders
- Sending a link
There is an increasing dependence on text messaging to convey important relational communication. Many times, the communication would benefit if that text became a call, an email, or a meeting.