Top 4 Communication Forms and When You Should Use Them

leadership Nov 16, 2018

When it comes to communication — not every form is created equal.

Do you find yourself misinterpreted, misunderstood, or mistaken after sharing or receiving texts or email from employees or coworkers? While email and text messages have swiftly taken over as the go-to form of interoffice messaging due to their ease and speed, they are also often the source of confusion and, sometimes, frustration. Humans rely on more than their words to get their point across —and without the inflection, tone, and body language of a face-to-face conversation —a simple message can turn into a misinterpreted mess.

Here is PDUs2Go’s guide to the Top 4 Communication Forms and when you should use them. I’ll give you a hint... impersonal, automated communication should be at the bottom of the list.


1. Face to Face

Face to face communication should be your go-to form of communication when possible.

Always use face-to-face communication for matters of importance i.e. job issues/complaints, performance discussions, and expectations.

Use this method to avoid misunderstandings and ensure all parties are on the same page.


2. Phone Call

Use a phone call as an alternative to face-to-face when an in-person conversation isn’t possible.

Phone calls are excellent for virtual team meetings, client check-ins and when verbal prompting/instructions are needed.

Phone calls are the second best way to void miscommunications and misinterpretations.


3. Email

Although email can be considered a risk for misinterpretation and misunderstandings, it can be a useful tool when a paper-trail is appropriate.

Email is a helpful resource to convey a large amount of detailed information for an individual or to group of individuals at the same time.

Email is a great resource for checking in with clients or headquarters when you are a virtual employee.


4. Text Message

Text messaging should be avoided for most communication of consequence and should not be used for in-depth instructions or requests.

Text messaging can be used for immediate check-ins or confirming information when other methods of communication are not available.

Use caution when texting a boss/employee unless they have indicated whether or not they consider it appropriate (especially after hours or on weekends).

For expert advice on tried and true communication strategies that say it right the first time, check out PDUs2Go’s Communicating for Results 60 PDU package.



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