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Communication methods in the workplace

Have you ever been frustrated by the lack of response to an email or failure to return a phone call ?

This may be because the person does not want to respond for some reason, but it might also be because you have chosen the wrong communication option. People have different preferences when it comes to communication channels. Also,  the best channel will vary depending on the subject matter. In any event if one method does not work don’t give up, try another.

The following is a general guide as to which different communication methods to use :

Telephone : for non contentious subject matter, to firm up on arrangements e.g. schedule meeting

Email : best to communicate information, confirm arrangements, where written record needed

Meeting : needed for sensitive or complex subject matter or where a number of people need to be involved

Drop by desk : useful if other options don’t get response or to introduce sensitive subject matter

Thru assistant/ private secretary : to gain access to senior people

Letter : these days mostly for contractual arrangements /legal documentation

The key point is to remain open minded and flexible as to which communication channel to use.


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