When it comes to office communication there are lots of tools and methods to choose from. However, making the right choice is vital. You can come off as unprofessional or worse you can have your message ignored or misunderstood if you don’t choose wisely.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding between email, meetings, instant messaging, and phone calls:
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Obviously these barely scratch the surface of best practices for office communication methods… So I would love to read your thoughts! Leave a comment below and keep the discussion going.
10 thoughts on “Choose Your Weapon”
I certainly agree with these methods. We were just introduced to another Zoom like tool at work that would only be available for our team. However, we use Zoom for communicating with the site. My thoughts were that even though the new application was more colorful and had better emojis than Zoom, it seemed to me that adding another app was taking up to much screen space and just another app that we would need to open before work. Plus, in our Zoom app, we are able to chat with the site and our team. And it really doesn’t matter with the team chat because we only have one supervisor and she is hardly ever in our team chat so we have to ask questions on the site chat. Now, even though we do not use the video on Zoom, if the supervisor needs to speak to us we can definitely read the tone of urgency in her voice. It will either be a good conference or a bad one. As far as things such as training notifications. We could get them right up to the first day. And they also come through Zoom. The bad thing about those video meeting apps is sometimes you cannot always keep your chats in case you need to refer to them later.
I agree with keeping communication techniques to a reasonable minimum. No reason to reinvent the wheel if it only creates more work for the team or more tools to track and keep up with.
I worked on the change management team at Ford Motor Company for the F150. I got to be a major player on the team and learned a lot. As an analyst in the program management department, I found the method that worked best for me. I walked over to the engineer’s offices, the designer’s space, the finance team and for everyone else, I would drive to their offices. This really worked. I found out that if I drove to a supplier’s office once, I never had to do it again. That supplier always showed up in our change management meetings on time with their stuff done. Everyone I worked with showed up and did their work on time and properly. I think it was the personal touch of going to their cube and knocking that did it. I also took over some starbursts or a box of cookies once in a while. For the daily (sometimes twice a day meetings) I sometimes brought in cookies or doughnuts. I always talked about the latest episode of whatever show was on tv the night before. I found that by going in with a fun atmosphere, we really got the work done. And it didn’t seem like much work after a while.
Literally meeting people where they are! I must admit on those few occasions where I have gone out of my way to make such an effort it has always paid off. Perhaps I should look for more opportunities to put your good example into practice!
Interestingly, at my last job the communication tools improved greatly when we had to go virtual for Covid. We started using a chat application that we required all employees to register on and started using video for meetings rather than just phone calls. I would agree with your statement on emails – I’ve found it is great for articulating thoughts in an organized manner but challenging sometimes in ensuring people have read them.
It is amazing how teams and individuals have adapted so quickly to working remotely. Even those of us who only went into the office once or twice a week have had some learning to do, but as a workforce, we have really proven what is possible. Now, imagine what we could do if we could incrementally plan and improve on it?!?!?
Great ideas… I also like adding humor to communication… In Teams with GIFs and emojis often help break down barriers and add empathy with you audience. We also to motivational Youtube links where I am and often some fun questions like “Favorite Disney movie song before heading into a large meeting”… anything really to add humanity and comradery to non-human communication.
I love to communicate using text messages because it allows me to explain my thoughts without interruption.
Yes, sometimes it is difficult to get your complete point across on a call or during a meeting given questions and interruptions.
There were occasions where the team created videos with the media team to communicate a change. The videos had skits with humor and enthusiasm about the change to come. We got a meeting invite to join and of course it was assumed “another boring meeting” but the start of the meeting was like an opening of a movie. The video was crafted with a story telling the change to come, goals and expectations. The comms was well thought out, engaging and well received.