I recently reviewed “The Art of Effective Communication”. (Laureate, n.d.) This little piece was a message in three formats, written email, voice mail, and video. The massage in all three cases was identical. The purpose was to illustrate the differences in how a message is perceived without tonality and body language.
Without tone or body language, the written message lacks clarity. I found myself asking What was needed exactly, an ETA or the report? When is the response, ETA or report needed by, and what is needed in a separate email? I also found myself feeling the email was whining I tone. If I owe you a past due report then I owe you a report. What you do with it is irrelevant really. I find myself doing this from time to time and have to delete when I review my messages before sending out. Best to keep email short and precise. It’s more likely to be fully read and responded to in a timely manner by someone in an all-day meeting.
Voice mail was much easier to understand, especially the part about the separate email. The message came off less whiny and more frustrated, but it was a little more pleasant than the email which was annoying. Clearly with the tone of her voice I can understand the inflection in the sentences and can tell more about the request.
Video or in Person
The video was the best format as the body language was relaxing and countered the sharpness, frustration and whininess of the message with a friendliness that made the request much more desirable to fulfill. Clearly the message with all the information, (message, tone, body language) was the best, as it expressed a teammate / allies need, urgency and reason for the request in a friendly manner.
I can’t say if the format has the same missing information or effects no matter what the message someone is trying to convey, but I can say in this instance the message changed, or more accurately, my reaction and acceptance to the message changed when you added or removed the tone and or body language being conveyed with the message.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) Communication with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.) The Art of Effective Communication [Multimedia Program]. Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6145/03/mm/aoc/index.html