There are some communication rules on which I think we can all agree: phonecalls can take a lot of time; emails are often misinterpreted; meetings can be boring and wasteful; criticism is best done face-to-face; praise cannot be over-rated.
How we communicate is highly personalised but here is what works for ‘moi’:
- Should be short and start/stop on time
- Have an agenda
- Include only relevant people
- Participants should prepare
- Conclude with specific ToDos
- Have someone follow-up on the ToDos
- Are old-style and often used through force of habit; when made/received should be re-evaluated
- Use when a personal approach is needed
- Use when a criticism is necessary
Your preferred written communication (email, Facebook, SMS, etc.):
- Your choice of communication should suit the recipient (most people still use email)
- Will define your personality so write thoughtfully: friendly, upbeat, positive
- Must be precise and accurately written; misinterpretation and offense is easy
- Should be solution not problem focussed (i.e don’t criticise in an email: use phone or face-to-face)
- Should include short pleasantries.
The English language is an amazingly versatile and powerful tool, so you can use it to terrific advantage.
These lists are not conclusive, of course, and are very personal; however, they can help you start thinking about your how to optimise your own communication skills. And here are two more useful posts: Communication Tips for Global Virtual Teams; Stop People from Wasting Your Time.