As technology has grown at a break-neck pace, the different ways in which we communicate with others have expanded. When we want to contact a colleague, client or associate, we now have a myriad of ways to do it: a phone call, a text, a letter, an e-mail, an in-person visit, a Facebook message—the list goes on.
Each of us has certain methods of communication that we’re most comfortable with. Technophobes may avoid e-mail and texting at all costs, while those who are less social may thrive on communication that limits direct contact with others. However, it’s important to remember that the type of communication you prefer may not necessarily be the best fit for the situation at hand. Before contacting someone, ask yourself a few questions to determine which method of communication is best before reaching out.
Are multiple people involved? If you need to pass information on to several people or open a topic up to group discussion, e-mail is often your best bet. However, make sure that everyone involved in the e-mail truly needs to be involved—there are few things more irritating than having one’s inbox cluttered with constant responses to an endless e-mail thread, especially if it’s not a topic that concerns you directly. For those that are only peripherally connected, send a second group e-mail summarizing the conclusions reached from the original e-mail once all is said and done.
What do they prefer? When you make a new connection and have exchanged information, casually ask, ”What’s the best way to get in contact with you?” to find out their personal preference before parting ways. Then, make a quick note of this preference on their business card or in your cell phone. If you don’t have a chance to ask directly, make an educated guess based on what you know about the individual, the nature of their job, and their typical schedule. If you communicate with someone in the way that is most comfortable and convenient for them, you’re more likely to receive a positive response.
Stay tuned: Next week we’ll continue to navigate through the different methods of communication and how to choose the right one for any situation.
Do you want to polish your speech and improve your overall communication skills? Let our team of corporate speech-language pathologists help you reach your professional potential through strong communication. Give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Don’t live in NYC? No problem! Our services are Skype ready, so CSS can help you improve your communication from anywhere in there world.