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Successful Habits 3 Steps For Skilled Communication
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Technology has made our lives convenient in so many ways. One of the foremost areas affected is how we communicate. From the use of mobile phones to writing letters and sending emails; keeping in touch with others is more important than ever. Here are three key elements to consider the next time you need to reach out and exchange a few words.
Step One - Know Your Message
Step Two - Know Your Audience
Step Three - Choose the Correct Method
In regard to personal communication, the purpose of a keep in touch text message or email to my sister would be to inform. The audience is my sister. I am using written communication. There could be some form of non-verbal language identified in the tone. The tone would be found in the words I use. If I am simply asking about the kids and letting her know all is well in my life, that pleasant exchange could be felt when reading the message. On the other hand, if something negative is being exchanged, one of the kids is ill or there is difficulty getting together for the holidays, then that unpleasant tone would be obvious as well.
In the alternative, while a personal communication is usually informal most professional communications require you to follow more rigid guidelines. In letter and emails there is generally a place to clearly outline the purpose of the correspondence. The same would also be true for reports and memoranda. While personal communication usually allows you to know the recipient more intimately, professional communication may only provide generalizations. For example, when presenting a budget proposal the elements would change. The audience may possibly be my boss. The message is to present a financial plan that explains the information I have researched in a way that shows a company profit. Because the method of communication is different, a formal report instead of an email message would be used. The document would be formatted and proofread for any grammatical errors. An error proof document that contains reliable sources will also help reinforce my credibility.
Another example would be text messages. Text messaging appears to be one of the most informal and frequently used forms of communication. It has a language all its own that includes quite a few abbreviations. I am sure that we have no problem sending a friend this text message, "K. C U at 4pm." I hardly think anyone would send this communication via email to an employer.
A final point about text messaging and written communication in general, length is a true point to consider when conveying the message. Many times I actually use complete sentences and proofread my messages before I hit send (this is true of texts as well as emails). Some people use emails and text messages as an excuse for being lazy with grammar and punctuation. Keep in mind that unless the person with whom you communicate uses the same jargon, it is always best to reply with proper spelling and punctuation. This point cannot be stressed enough and is especially true with written communication of any kind in a professional setting.
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