To tweet or to
e-mail? Phone or face-to-face? When a host of communication options are at your
fingertips choosing the right one requires careful matching of audience and
Before we get into
the nitty-gritty, let's take a minute for an overview. Communication can be
broken down into two broad categories: verbal and written. Both are used
extensively in the workplace and life.
Generally speaking, verbal communication is a more personal form of
communication and is well suited for interactions that require extensive
questioning or back-and-forth and for delivering emotionally-charged
information such as compliments or reprimands.
communication is the most appropriate choice when delivering
detailed information, when something needs to be documented, or when a person
is too far away to easily speak with in person or by phone.
What to Pick?
When proceeding, ask
yourself how would you like to best receive information? In addition, I like to
ask the people I interact with on a regular basis, what method of communication
they prefer. Tap into your commonsense and do a gut-check. When in doubt, consult with a colleague for a
second opinion. I've also found a list from the book The
Leaders' Communication Toolkit to be a helpful guide:
Keep in mind that
choosing the right form of communication matters less than how well or
effectively you communicate. When communicating verbally, master your emotions,
avoiding sarcasm or angry tones. Be sure to be a good listener as well, verbal
communication is a two-way street. For more tips on interpersonal relationships
and communication in the workplace read our post Developing
Emotional Intelligence: Putting on Your "Feeling" Cap. For tips on effective written
communication, check out our post How to Write Persuasively
What rules of
thumb do you use in selecting the right form of communication? Share your
thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook
and Twitter pages.
by Candie Harris
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.