Up-level your communication

By Drs. Sheila Boysen, Mike Cherry and Lesley Page

Have you ever engaged in an email/text exchange that seemed to go nowhere? Maybe had a telephone conversation where you assumed agreement but realized there was misunderstanding? Perhaps, a customer did not ‘read the fine print’ and this led to an awkward interaction?

Often these challenging communication scenarios occur because we chose a communication ‘vehicle’ that lacks enough richness. We define richness as our ability to gather, and share, input, clues, and feedback between all parties in the communication scenario.

Let’s take an example…our communication engagement begins…

  • Through a customer visiting our website. They read the material but have a question, so they reach out via…
  • The email link. We respond via email with a link back to the website.
  • The customer remains confused so reaches out via the telephone. Following this conversation, the answer remains unclear so we…
  • Schedule a face-to-face conversation to, ultimately, resolve the question.

What we are working through in this example is how we can up-level our communication via different vehicles that are richer. The picture below can help explain this.

On the far left we have communication vehicles, that are important, yet lack richness. These might be standard reports. Regulatory filings (Poul LeMasters may take exception to this). We use these when we don’t expect or really need much interaction.

As we move from left to right we see the vehicles becoming richer. We can add emoji’s and personal greetings in emails. We can listen for, and hear, tone of voice in telephone calls. In face to face meeting we can interpret body language and see what is ‘between the lines’ in a verbal exchange. We can respond to questions in-the-moment.

Our invitation to you is to carefully consider the objective of your communication and match it with a vehicle that has the appropriate richness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *