Meeting new people, overseeing a business transaction, building trust, whether personal or professional, these actions all begin with some form of communication. We spend a large part of our day communicating and I think we can all agree some type of communication is better than none at all – and has its benefits in the workplace.
Every day in our digital world we come across possible new ways to communicate and it can be somewhat overwhelming, and also confusing unless you have the perfect workflow in place. A vast majority of these opportunities involve written communication without any voice or personal touch.
Again, all have a place at work but let’s review which ones will likely be the most effective in helping you reach your company and project goals.
My personal favorite and the one that will give you the best opportunity to build trust and have a strong understanding of the task at hand. In-person meetings allow you to meet others and get to know everyone on a more personal level. It allows for more creative conversation and brainstorming at the highest level. When you meet with someone face-to-face you are more committed to the meeting with fewer interruptions such as checking email and text messages. Constantly looking at your phone while in a meeting relays the message that their time is not as valuable as the incoming message. Rude. Agree or disagree?
An oldie but a goodie! Nothing says “I care” like a call to your client, or anyone on the other end of the line for that matter. It’s always reassuring to hear the voice on the other end, especially when it’s not an emergency situation but simply to say hello or just touch base about a project. There is something comforting about a phone call to replace email or instant messaging. It allows for that extra touch and it’s something that doesn’t happen as often as it should.
It’s hard to believe that we ever accomplished anything before email! The love-hate relationship with email is real but we can’t live without it in the workplace. Email allows us to communicate with many at one time and send documents and other files to be received immediately. An email also allows you to work late into the evening or the wee hours of the morning and give those on the receiving end the chance to review at their convenience. It also serves as time-stamped documentation when warranted.
An addiction. We want to put those phones down, but the constant pinging draws us back in. It’s a quick way to get an immediate answer on something that can’t wait. But what are the guidelines on instant messaging and when is it appropriate to IM a client as opposed to email or a phone call? Unless it’s critical and cannot wait, sending an email is typically the best option to avoid the urgency that instant messaging can suggest. For those that hit the sack early, receiving work-related instant messages after 9 pm might be a buzz kill.
Project Management Outlets Such as Basecamp
We love Basecamp and communicate frequently with in-house staff and those that work remotely regarding various projects. It’s a great way for everyone to review project timelines and have the chance to comment on work as it is being completed. We can add clients to the project and work together like one big happy family.
A great way to attend a meeting without the expense of a flight and hotel. More personal than an email, it allows for a slightly stronger personal touch than the other options (when a face-to-face isn’t possible). Sometimes it’s necessary for a GoToMeeting or Skype call, but for other circumstances, you can simply rely on a conference call. You pick, just don’t forget to brush your hair and change out of the nighttime attire.
Regardless of what type of communication works best, let’s not forget two critical pieces when communicating. Always be a good listener and put forth the effort when preparing to communicate. Out of respect for all involved, be prepared before you throw your message out there to cut down on time and possibly heartache.
We would like to hear how your company communicates effectively and what works best for you and why. Group 2 takes pride in how we communicate with our clients in order to hit timelines and achieve their goals as promised.
Want to learn more about Group 2 and how we can get your marketing project off the ground and moving forward? You can contact us at 412.605.0834, ext. 3000, reach us by email at email@example.com, message us via Twitter at @Group2Design, or reach out via LinkedIn at Group 2. It’s your choice, but we would love to hear from you!