Communicating is so much more than words, as Dr. Stolovitch (Laureate Inc. a, n.d.) tells us in his video cast this week. He goes on to add that body language, tone, and timing are also important. These items are received differently depending on the modality in which they are delivered.
In our assignment this week, we interpret the same message delivered three different ways – email, voicemail, and in person (Laureate Inc. b, n.d.). Click here to access the modalities.
Interpretation of email:
Jane’s email to Mark is professional, yet casual in tone so it does not come off as pushy or demanding. She also shows consideration of Mark’s time. She explains the urgency of obtaining the information from Mark and finishes the email acknowledging Mark’s help.
Interpretation of voicemail:
Again, Jane’s tone is professional, yet urgent. Although she remains pleasant throughout, I thought her tone at one time does seem to get a little more aggressive, or at least more pressing as she describes the urgency with which she needs the information from Mark . However, she wraps up the voice mail again with acknowledgement and thanks to Mark.
Interpretation of F2F communication:
Jane remains as pleasant and professional when speaking directly to Mark. I do think that she is almost apologetic in her tone, as though she is very sorry that she must ask Mark for something because he is too busy. She smiles while she explains the situation, but she waves her hand and looks down and away occasionally – as if to formulate or remember what she is going to say. If I were Mark, I would wonder if the urgency is authentic, or an excuse Jane is using to get the information faster.
Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?
I found all the forms of communication to convey Jane’s message in a professional and courteous manner. In each communiqué, she presented her need for the data in a manner that suggested urgency without being pushy. I did not detect a huge difference in intent between the different methods, but I would rate her in person message the least effective.
What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?
Since I did not find much difference between the messages, I would infer that being professional despite the modality is important. Jane included all the necessary elements of communication as listed by Dr. Stolovitch (Laureate Inc. b, n.d.): state purpose, state situation, state solutions, however, she did not include a time frame or deadline for Mark to deliver the data. We should be specific with team members and include “time frames” (Portny et al., 2008) when communicating the need for results or action.
Laureate Inc. a (n.d.). Communicating with Stakeholders. Retrieved from http://sylvan.live.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=6051999&Survey=1&47=7229053&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=1&bhcp=1
Laureate Inc., b (n.d.). The Art of Effective Communication. Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6145/03/mm/aoc/index.html
Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.