Carefully crafted communication has become a dying art in a world transfixed with instant messaging. How many times on a daily basis do you have to re-read an email or chat message to decipher what the sender is trying to say? A lot of time can be saved through well-constructed communications, while also enabling us to demonstrate our individuality and build relationships.
Business communication has been through some drastic evolutions over the years. Before email, can you believe that we wrote letters and posted them? This morphed into faxing, which was then replaced by the electronic version. In today’s world of messaging platforms, sending a fax is almost unheard of. But the ability to constantly fire out messages on multiple devices anytime and anywhere is arguably damaging the quality of the communication. We may be guilty of treating the messages we write and receive as disposable; neglecting much conscious effort. There is a need to get back to basics.
Avoiding too many platforms to communicate on can be a good place to start. This isn’t easy when you’ve already opened up many channels. Decide which are essential, or most intuitive to you and start to close and merge the others Begin moving towards more concentrated streams of inflowing and out-flowing communication.
Next, decide which channel is most appropriate for the objective and audience. Instant messages are great for informal, short bites of information. But if the message is very detailed and being sent to someone you don’t know so well, an email may be better. Of course, it also comes down to personal preference, which should be considered if you know that someone relies on a particular method.
As technology continues to rapidly evolve, I believe we should all take more responsibility for the way we send and reply to communications. Taking the time to put across a message clearly via the appropriate avenue can foster better relationships and efficiency.
Try this approach:
– Avoid reading and replying to messages on the fly, when you’re distracted.
– Focus on one platform and message at a time. Communication can get confused when we’re flitting between too many at once.
– Put yourself in the shoes of the reader: how easy is the message for them to understand straight away?
– Read over your note before sending.
Being more mindful and professional in our written communication demonstrates to others that we are listening, present and thoughtful. This translates into social capital and ultimately, more ability to achieve our aims.
Image Credit: Austin Distel
Matt’s passion for wellness has driven every aspect of his life. He started, and has grown, ChapmanCG into the world’s premier HR search company, which he founded and has kept completely virtual since 2008. His passion around HR and the future of work has fuelled his desire to invest in HR technology concepts and also to co-create the Thrive HR Exchange.
He is currently in training as a Founding Participant in the epic Snowman Race in Bhutan. He is a finisher of six 250 km desert ultramarathons in Chile, China, Egypt, Antarctica, Namibia and Madagascar.
Matt now resides at Parihoa, his seaside farm in New Zealand, where he is attuned to virtual working and manages his global business interests from here. He is a Singapore Citizen and counts Singapore as his other base.
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