Traci's Blog

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." ~Goethe

Communicating Effectively

communicate

In the multimedia program ‘The Art of Effective Communication’, we are presented with a communication scenario in which Jane is communicating with Mark through three modes of communication (Email, Voicemail, and Face-to-Face). Jane is trying to retrieve important data from Mark for a project they are working on. If Mark does not deliver the data to Jane is a timely manner, it will effect the deadline of her own assignment. After receiving the message through each modality, I am reflecting upon the effectiveness of the communication

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?

The email sent by Jane was clear and concise. Although she states the urgency of receiving this date, I didn’t sense the urgency in the tone of the email. In the voicemail, you can sense Jane’s concern through the tone of her voice. However, the face-to-face communication, to me, prove to be more effective. Not only do you get the same content and can hear the concern in Jane’s voice, but you can also see it in her face. “In face-to-face communication, we rely heavily on non-verbal information like facial expression, body posture, gestures, and voice tone to interpret and predict other people’s behavior” (Swink, 2013, para. 2).

What factors influenced how you perceived the message?

The factors that influence how I perceived the message is the delivery, the content, and the tone of the message. For delivery, anything excruciatingly important should be delivered live. According to Communicating with stakeholders, important communication is best delivered live and in-person (Laureate, n.d.). For the content, towards the end of the communication Jane says to let her know when he (Mark) thinks he can get the report sent over to her (Jane). I don’t sense the urgency in this statement, and it is also ambiguous. Jane could have given him a deadline to which he could have the report to her, by saying ‘Can you please have the report to me by COB tomorrow?’ and ‘if you do not agree with this deadline, please contact me first thing in the morning so we can discuss a more suitable deadline’. For the tone of the message, as previously mentioned I did not sense the urgency in the message itself. Tone in the email could have been conveyed more appropriately through word choice, letter case, or syntax; just as well as vocal inflection in the voicemail.

Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?

The face-to-face communication , to me, conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message. In addition to the content, you can sense the importance and urgency on the message through Jane’s facial expression and vocal tone, which could not be conveyed through email and voicemail. In addition, I do understand the need to document all communications. So in this situation if I were Jane, I would try to communicate with Mark first face-to-face, and follow up with an email. If Mark was unable to be reached in-person, then an email and a follow-up would suffice.

What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?

For this exercise, I have learned that communication is not just words but is also how the message is delivered. Communication is important in project management because it allows for your project team to “exchange and share information with one another, and influence one another’s attitudes, behaviors, and understandings” (Portney, et. al, 2008, p.357). Project managers are responsible for different types of communication that should take place within a project team.

Resources

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

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.

Swink, D.F. (2013). Don’t type at me like that! Email and emotions. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/threat-management/201311/dont-type-me-email-and- emotions

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3 thoughts on “Communicating Effectively

  1. “For delivery, anything excruciatingly important should be delivered live.”

    Traci,

    I understand your statement and I agree with the importance of face-to-face communication. How does this pay out for virtual team communication of something that is excruciatingly important? What would be considered live? Would Skype or some other form of computer-mediated communication be considered as live?

  2. Traci you raised a great point, face to face communication is important and a better way to communicate as everyone present in the conversation will be able to see, hear and understand what is happening. This will give the parties involved a clear understanding of the expectations as well as to clear any misconceptions. Even though we are in the age of technology some information is best delivered face to face.I believe that mis-interpretation of written information/message can cause a breakdown in the work place as the way a message is transmitted can determine how the situation can be taken.

  3. Traci,

    You did a great job at analyzing all the required aspects of the assignment. I too agree that face-to-face communication is indeed one of the more effective ways of communicating. I have found however, that there are times when a carefully worded email might prove effective in conveying a message that would otherwise not be well received especially the person being addressed has been proving to be difficult to work with. As PM’s we are required to be diplomats, not technicians, Stolovitch (n.d.) sometimes we need to select the communication method that best conveys the spirit and attitude we need.

    Reference

    Laureate Education (n.d.) Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

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