Thursday, November 13, 2014

Communicating Effectively

As we all know that communication is one of the most important areas that affect all part of our lives, essentially when we are forming any type of relationship with people. How we communicate and what we communicate can go a long way as to how our message is received. When looking at project management, "effective communication--sharing the right messages with the right people in a timely manner" (Portney et all, 2008, pg. 357) is the basis of having a successful project. As we look at the different forms of communications, it is important to note that each form is different and requires a thoughtful process in how to approach and deliver. When reflecting upon the different modalities in "The Art of Effective Communication" program, I noticed a difference between how each message was delivered and how I felt. 
When writing an email, proper netiquette always has to be considered, in order to make up for the facial expressions, voice and tone that is not heard or seen. I found the email message to come across more formal and urgent then the voice mail and face to face messages. The email almost sounded accusatory about what Mark has been involved in, such as "I know you have been busy and possibly in that all day meeting today" (Laureate Education, n.d.). When reading the message, I felt the stress and a bit of blame if she did not get the data she needed right away.


The voicemail was a little better at expressing Janes' state of mind, and I could hear the stress and urgency in her voice. I could also hear the worry of her not being able to complete her report on time, versus the stronger tone heard in the email. 
The face-to-face approach came across as friendly, but still expressing that she needed information to get her job done. With this form of communication, it is less confusing, as you can hear and see the person as they are giving you the message. Jane sounded a lot more relaxed and it came across not extremely stressful. Her body language was quite casual and not intimidating.
Overall, I think all forms of communication can work, it just depends on how you do it. According to this scenario, the face-to-face approach seemed like it was the most effective way to remain in a friendly manner, but serious enough to get the message across. It is so easy to give someone the wrong impression and message, which can lead to miscommunication, ill feelings, increased stress and put strain on a relationship. When considering stakeholders and key employees for an important project, it is vital that we ensure that our message is being conveyed the way we want. At times it helps to write things out to process our thoughts, especially if we are going to be using email to communicate. These days I find that it is so easy to be misunderstood, whether it is in our personal or professional relationships. All it takes, is use of one wrong word or a misunderstood tone, to set the wheels turning for the person receiving the message. So, lets ensure that we practice proper forms of communications as often as we can, as this is our way to build stronger relationships in all means of our lives.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Laureate Education. (n.d.). The Art of Effective Communication. Retrieved from


  1. I think that this is a great example of how email can be interpreted by different people in very different ways. I saw the email as lacking tone and expression, as most emails do. When I read the email, I felt it was understadning and did not stress the need for immediate action. If I were the recipient, I think I may have placed it on my "list to do", but maybe not at the very top. However, the voicemail I felt had a tone of sarcasm at the beginning that turned me off to the message. An important message like this I fee lshould always be delivered face-to-face to ensure that it is know that immediate action is expected.

    1. Hi, thank you for your comments. Yes, I agree it is so easy to be misinterpreted especially when material is being requested at the last minute to meet a deadline. It all depends on how the receiver handles stress or takes on others stress. This would be a situation where in project management, it is important to choose the "words carefully in order to minimize misunderstandings" (Portney et all, 2008, pg. 358).


      Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  2. It is true that an email can be misinterpreted because of the lack of tone and expression, it is the readers interpretation of the words on the page rather than having a tone or facial expression to go by. I agree that that the face-to-face message came across the best because you were able to see and hear the message clearly for yourself, rather than using only what you saw or heard and your own interpretation. One person could interpret the email or voicemail one way and another person might look at it differently, its subjective. It is important when communicating to think about these things when trying to convey a message. You want to be heard correctly and understood so that miscommunication does not occur and that success on projects occurs. I am a strong proponent for face-to-face communication since it is not subjective or up to each own's interpretation.

  3. Krishna,
    One definitely can hear the stress and anxiety in Jane's voice with the voicemail. When it comes to communicating with others at school, I usually default to using the phone whenever I can because it provides deeper levels of communication. Being confronted with this reflection activity, it does underscore how communication can still fall short. I find that sometimes sacrificing authentic communication for the sake of getting work done is worth it for me. Do you think that time as a cost plays a factor in how an individual communicates sometimes?