Effective Communication

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.


 Written email

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

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


4 thoughts on “Effective Communication

  1. Hi Brian,

    Love your blog post! You stated that the written message lacked “nonverbal clues,” or clarity, relating to tone and body language. Yet, the message seemed “whinny” and lengthy, which reduces the likely hood of it being read. Additionally, it can only be implied that the receiver of the message was oblivious to the urgency of the matter.

    I agree that urgent email messages should be concise and direct, as you and Dr. Stolovitch (Laureate Education, n.d.a) described. Consequently, all this should be outlined in the communications plan for a better response from team members (Laureate Education, n.d.b). For example, geographic separation may deem it necessary to send urgent email messages, followed by chat, or voice messaging. If possible, it should also have a visual component. Here is an example of how the email should have read:


    Hi Brian,

    Please submit project #558376 as stipulated in the project plan (Section 3.4.5) for review today; Saturday, May 5th, 2018 to bettyann.rogers@waldenu.edu.

    I look forward to it!

    Bettyann Roger (Project Manager)



    Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.a). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Author: H. Stolovitch. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

    Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.b). Project management concerns: Communication strategies and organizational culture [Video file]. Authors: H. Stolovitch & C. Kramer. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

  2. Hello Brian,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. It is imperative to have effective communication as a Project Manager or Instructional Designer. Sometimes we are so busy that we really don’t pay much attention to the tone of the email or voicemail. I’ve also seen emails that have a vast amount of information. This can be very overwhelming to the reader. Although our society is driven by technology the face-to-face interactions have a higher level of effectiveness when communicating with others. Today, if you are halfway across the world the face-to-face interaction through Skype, Facetime, and other platforms allow the process of exchange information allows a more efficient form of communication.

  3. Hi Brian,
    I love sending emails, but sometimes my message gets lost in interpretation. Sometimes when I receive an email that may come across as unpleasant or negative or even hostile, I get on the phone to clarify. This helps me to ascertain what the sender wanted me to think or even feel after reading the email.
    For this discussion, I thought that the face to face video was most effective. The facial expressions and body language of the sender showed that she understood that Mark was under a lot of stress but at the same time, she was pleading to get the report to her so she can submit her report on time.
    I think face to face communication has the ability to be more effective than face to face and voice, but that is not always feasible.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Brian,
    I have to agree!! Email is so up to the interpretation of the reader. We can’t always balance out what we think they will interpret versus what we mean to communicate. I also read the email as whiny, and honestly annoying. If you want the info-fine, I’ll get it to you just tell me what you need! In the voicemail piece, I was still annoyed. It was a message longer than 30 seconds with too much information. However, the tone was far more easily understood. And finally, the face to face most clearly communicated given the addition of body language.

    How does that change your typical mode of communication? For me I had to really think about this because as a remote employee I communicate almost solely via messenger service, email, and sometime phone.

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