Choose the Right Medium for the Communication

One leadership lesson that took me entirely too long to learn was that different communications require different mediums. The idea is that communication mediums like face-to-face, video chat, phone, and email make it easy to share words but the context and nuance varies wildly. As an example, if people are upset or any sort of miscommunication is going on, face-to-face is significantly better than email or text message.

Let’s look at some of the different mediums and communication circumstances:

  • Face-to-face – Best for anything emotional (good or bad), alignment-oriented, or difficult
  • Video chat – Not as good as face-to-face but still auditory and visual, especially for staying connected to someone in a different physical location
  • Phone – For exchange and dialogue on a complicated subject as well as times when emotion and relationship are an important part of the equation
  • Email – Simple, fast, and effective for basic information exchange, tasks, and clarification

Chat and text message are similar to email in that they’re digital but have a greater sense of immediacy and two-way communication about them. Regardless, it’s important to choose the right medium for the communication.

What else? What are your thoughts on choosing the right medium for the communication?

6 thoughts on “Choose the Right Medium for the Communication

  1. The medium is the message.

    Regarding mediums and prospecting, I’ve found that people are super responsive on Twitter. I was really worried that people would feel it’s a bait-n-switch since Twitter isn’t a normally channel expect to be hit up for sales. Surprisingly, people were responsive.

  2. Agreed. Not only that, but also the right medium for the person is critical. Some prefer face to face, others email, etc.–when you can match the communication, medium and individual, you have the trifecta!

  3. I think you are dead on. Often I have observed myself or others working through email and then the issue isn’t resolved. It takes entirely too long for the phone to be picked up or for a face to face meeting. It’s especially an issue when working at different locations or having to work with someone on the other side of the country.

  4. There is a lot to be considered when it comes to communication and what you want to convey. I find that email is a great way to have a record. When you have so many things going on in your life remembering dates, times and the exact thing you said makes it so much easier when you have an email trail to refer to. But I feel old fashion at times, I believe that having a physical meeting is important. There is a lot the body has to say. They say 75% of your communication comes from your body language. I believe that you can know a lot about a person and a professional relationship quickly with body language. Of course, we must take under consideration the culture as well. Some countries are different then we are here in America. A physical meeting allows them to know whether they can trust you are not. It is always smart to use the right medium to communicate. They are all unique but equally important.

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