After receiving the communication via the three separate modalities in the “Art of Effective Communication” multimedia program, my perception or interpretation of the communication did not really change. However, I will say that the face-to-face message did present the message in the friendliest way versus the other modalities. Being able to see the individual’s genuine concerned but non-threatening facial expressions and demeanor definitely was able to enhance the message. While electronic communication has is pros, such as speed and convenience, face-to face communication definitely is the most advantageous communication modality. According to Stolz (2011) “Face to Face communication gives you all the communication tools – verbal and non verbal – to effectively share your message and ensure that the other person got and understood what you are sharing with them or asking them to do” (Para. 3). While face-to-face is the most ideal form of communication, it is unrealistic for a PM to expect to interact with team members and stakeholders in the modality alone. This underscores the importance of overall communication skills in the process of effective project management. When it comes to electronic communication (phone, email, etc), PMs must remember that critical elements in communication are missing, the sender’s tone and/or body language. In the absence of tone or body language, receivers are able to focus and add their own perception to what the sender is communication. Written words have a ‘perceived voice’ of which the sender must be aware. For example, most email readers consider typing in all capital letters as yelling. While typing in text speak in an email (“R U running l8?”) as unprofessional and frankly just plain annoying. According to Neely (2012) ” You may not realize it, but every person has a unique “voice” when it comes to writing. Everyone has a baseline that tells their personality right off the bat, and it comes from the way they phrase and punctuate their thoughts. Much like physical body language, everyone also has cues for when they are excited, pleased, worried, annoyed or downright upset as well” (Para 3). PMs need to utilize etiquette that is appropriate for the modality in order to communicate effectively while not offending. In terms of written communication, the PM should do the following:
- Make sure their messages utilize proper English (spell checked, proper grammar, free of short-hand, proper punctuation and sentence structure)
- Avoid phrases that may be perceived as rude or curt by using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
- Make correspondence easy to read- keep it as short as possible, use headers, bullets, etc. (Pilley, 2011)
Project Managers must ensure that they are exercising effective communication skills appropriate to the mode they are utilizing, otherwise they will spend a great deal of time mending fences and/or resolving confusion among team members.
Neely, A. (2012, Oct 6). How Well Do You Use Virtual Body Language in Project Communications? Retrieved Nov 15, 2012, from Bright Hub PM: http://www.brighthubpm.com/resource-management/127106-virtual-body-language-in-project-communications/
Pilley, M. (2011, Aug 4). Brushing Up on Your Email Etiquette Skills. Retrieved Nov 15, 2012, from Bright Hub PM: http://www.brighthubpm.com/resource-management/82453-brushing-up-on-your-email-etiquette-skills/
Stolz, S. (2011, Jan 19). Business Communication – The Benefits of Face to Face Contact. Retrieved Nov 15, 2012, from EzineArticles: http://EzineArticles.com/5756355