Thursday, 21 August 2014

Communicating Strategies

Communicating Strategies
from the book :

Now, what would be the most effective communication method?

Face to face.
Next to it is phone conversation.
Least in writing

When deciding on your communication strategy for any upcoming project, proposal or any work of significance, having a face to face meeting with all the stake holders should be the preferred method.  If due to any reason that is not possible, the next ideal choice would be a personal phone call.

Written words are considered to be the most inefficient way to convey a message across, so using written words when it comes to convey someone’s true intent is not a good media. It is considered to be least effective. And that includes emails. The chance of having your intent misinterpreted when you write a message or email to somebody is huge. In fact the conclusion is, written message is not considered communication, it is just considered as sharing of information. It is a powerful method to share information but one should not be surprised, if you don’t get what you want, because clearly your intent was misinterpreted.

That does not mean writing doesn’t have any space. Written words are an incredible medium to summarize things, for example, minutes of the meeting. It is also a great medium to have a one-way conversation. It is also a great medium to share knowledge which the receiver can then decide to turn it into intelligence and skill, all sorts of things. And that is what it is good for, but not very good for actual communication.

While calling someone over the phone is not as effective as conversing face to face, it is important to note here, the effectiveness of communication over phone gets greatly enhanced based on how intimately you know the other person at the other end of the phone.

Have you ever heard a smile?  Come to think of it, it doesn’t make any sense.   But if you think back of the time you spoke with a dear friend after a long time over phone, you will realize, based on how well you know him a lot of his body language imagery is translated into his tone. Sometimes you can literally visualize how he is smiling while cracking a joke. How much I cannot tell you, since it differs from person to person. That happens due to relating. The better you know the person the more you start to understand the nuances of their body language by the tone of their voice. The following case study provides perfect example of complexities around human communication:

Case Study J:

How often it has happened that you are away travelling on a business trip and you regularly call up your family to check on them. There are times when just a hello from your wife at the other end of the phone and instantly you know something is wrong at home. Even if you’re significant half is trying to mask it. What generally happens here, the moment your significant half hears you on the phone internally her defenses are down. She knows you and she trust you. You are her husband and she is safe with you. She doesn’t even know it and thinks she is masking it yet her body gives it away because it comes across in her tone. Her words are saying everything is fine (you don’t even see her) but you know everything is not fine. All this is due to mutual caring and support in situations where we do not feel threatened by each other.

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