In the fast-paced corporate
world, communication is the key to success. But with the
variety of communication options expanding like never
before, how do you know what method is the best way to
communicate your message? Regardless of whether you communicate
via mail, telephone, fax or e-mail, here are some simple
rules to keep in mind.
Know Your Work Environment
Your place of employment may have some very clear rules
as to how you communicate both externally and internally.
Check these standards out before you send out any information.
Know Your Audience
How many people will you include in this correspondence
and how do they prefer to be contacted?
Be Clear and Professional Any correspondence you send out is a representation
of you and your company. You wouldn't meet with a new
client wearing ripped sweats and grass-stained shoes,
so why send out a meandering, poorly spelled document
or leave a rambling, ill-thought-out voice mail?
Don't Waste Anyone's Time
Plan what you're going to communicate and be succinct, but provide enough
context for the message to be meaningful. Be prepared for questions or
responses by having all the necessary information at your fingertips.
Select the Appropriate Medium
Here are some basic pros and cons of the four main methods of corporate
The most personal choice
when you can't meet face to face. This is the only method that allows
you to carry on a meaningful conversation.
Telephone tag and time
Great for sending confidential,
formal or legal documents. How else are you going to get a signature
on that original contract?
Slower and more expensive;
difficult to reach large numbers of people simultaneously
It's in writing and signed.
No file-compatibility issues.
More paper to file, potential
problems with reproduction quality and awkward for many pages
Quick, easy to organize
and can reach many people at the same time
It's a conversation without
the advantages of body language (signals can get crossed easily
and emoticons only go so far). The speed can trick you into getting
Now that you've got the basic communication
etiquette and methods down, you're off to the races. Remember, there's
an appropriate way to communicate everything. With a little common sense
and planning, you should have no problem getting your message across.