Communication matters and today our channels of contact are numerous, immediate and impressionable. Whether we are a manager, a candidate, a friend or family member it is important our communications get the message across effectively. And in today’s world of immediacy, the messages fly from all directions at all times. Most of us practice effective communication but the truth is a number don’t and there are plenty of times when the communication channel fails and we don’t know it. So what can we do to insure we communicate effectively? Here are a few tips based on my recent experiences in the marketplace.
- It is frustrating to receive voice mail that is long. Get to the point.
- It is frustrating when the person gives their contact number rapidly. If you want the call returned speak the number slowly and twice if you can.
- If you really want to get the message across leave the voice mail early in the am so it is one of the first messages heard and can be reacted to throughout the day.
- Use the subject line effectively. Try to communicate who you are and the reason for the message. Many of us get tens to hundred of emails daily and spend some time searching through them to find data we need. Yes there are effective mail search engines but make it easy to find your message. Someone may have given up searching for you yesterday with a great opportunity and you’ll never know.
- Check your message. Use spell check but still take the time to review your text to insure you don’t send out an important message with grammatical errors you typically don’t make. Don’t let oversight become a perception of who you are. We have all made these errors and will make them again…try not to. Best to practice the carpenter’s adage of measure twice cut once.
Text, IM, Social and Tweets
- These are convenient ways to message but please do not convey important information about serious matters. With little text the context of meaning gets lost and it is the perception that can become something not intended resulting in the wrong message.
- You’ve heard it, seen it and experienced the example of the communication you wish you never ‘put out there’ but it is there and may come back to haunt you. Yes, employers look at the social networks, your blog post and Google for anything else they can find. They do and others will. The point is to think about you message before sending – be careful.
Communication today is so much more effective today than it was before the Internet. I remember as a child visiting my aunt and uncle in rural Oklahoma when they had the old party line phone where you had to ring the operator, she connected you and others could listen. My mom let me talk on the phone and my aunt told me to be careful – people were listening. Hmmmm, the more things change…