|How can it be that you think your message is nice,|
When communicating with team members on a project, there are many options available through the use of technology. However, which method is best depends on the circumstances and can affect the clarity and results of the communication (Stolovitch, n/d). Let’s examine three different modalities for sharing the same content.
|but the response you receive is defensive?|
As stated by Stolovitch (n/d), effective written communication should be more business formal
in format, stating in the first line the purpose of the communication. This email example has an informal tone and reads as a rambling plea for a document. The tone also conveys that the author thinks the receiver is not doing his part of the work and will hold up her project. Clear communication of dates is vital to keeping deliverables on track (Portny, Samuel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer, 2008). Without stating a specific time and date that the author expects the document, the receiver may feel that he has plenty of time to accomplish the task, or that the sender of the message is overreacting. Either way, the receiver of this message may have feelings of resentment or pressure that may prevent an amicable result.
The voice message sounded more formal yet on topic than the text alone. The speaker expressed a polite and caring tone in recognizing that the listener may have been in all day meetings before moving to the reason for the message. The caller stated why the report was needed to complete her portion of the project, and how to get the information to her. This message conveyed less opportunity for the receiver to react negatively because the tone of voice conveyed a non-confrontational attitude.
The body language, posture, facial expressions, and voice tone give the face-to-face message a completely different tone from the text or voice only examples. However, in face-to-face communication, the receiver of the message may not remember what the message was without written back-up (Stolovitch, n/d). Stolovitch also states that in-person meetings are best for vital project segments and that ongoing communication works well via phone and email.
From these three examples, the voice message was the most effective for the following reasons:
1. Polite business tone was communicated
2. The receiver of the message could take notes on the information
3. The receiver had choice over the best time to listen to the message
The face-to-face message seemed the least effective for the following reasons:
1. Catching a team member at their cubicle gives them no choice over time and may interrupt their workflow
2. The verbal message may be forgotten due to other interruptions
3. This method is not able to be saved or revisited like an email or voicemail
While there are many methods for communication with team members over project deliverables and timelines, a voice message can be a simple and direct means of conveying needed action from an individual without creating tension in the group.