Friday, October 1, 2010

Communication Fundas - Part 2

With Emails and messages making for bulk of business communication, ‘Context’ has become more important of the two components of communication.

You see, context for any communication is set up not only by a preface but also by body language: the tone and volume of the voice, pursed or smiling lips, narrow or smiling eyes, tight or relaxed facial, aggressive or encouraging body posture – communication is not just words exchanged; it is information exchange to achieve a goal.

Because the body is effectively detached from emails, the context that body language sets now has to be performed by written words. And as we all know written words do a miserable job of conveying messages, even though English is a fairly rich language with words that have subtle variation in connotation.

Besides, the issuer and the recipient are separated by space and time. This means that emails can easily be misinterpreted – deliberately or otherwise – to gain time or deflect attention.

I find use of non-verbal cues in emails help (the theory being – non-verbal physical signals can only be replaced by non-verbal characters). Italics, underline, different font, colour and bold letters, are examples of non-verbal cues that can be effectively used.

See the difference.

Please complete the work by today Close of Business.

Please complete the work by today Close of Business.

Emoticons (or smilies) are powerful non-verbal signals that can be conveyed over emails. Smilies have gone beyond figures formed by keystrokes. There are rich varieties available and I find these extremely effective.

Use of emoticons in business mails is generally frowned upon. But do not worry too much about it. Unless, it is proposal or a cold call or a response to a customer complain or such!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


simran khanna said...

Yeah so nice important information you tell us.

Anjana said...

Communication is most effective when both issuer and recipient are open to receive and interpret that message. Very often, we initiate communication because it is convenient for us to do so, without thinking about the situation of the recipient. I think timeliness of the communication is really critical, in today's times. Timeliness, here is primarily defined through the lens of the recipient. It really answers the question --> does the communication make sense to the recipient at this point in time? The reality of our lives is such that, we are bombarded with so many messages that very little registers and more significantly, very little actually talks to us. Timeliness is important because it impacts the context and the manner in which one receives the content. It can make all the difference between winning and losing projects or anything else that one wishes to accomplish through effective communication.

My Library