The Communication Spectrum

How do you want to be communicated with?  What is your preference?  What about your colleagues?  Have you ever asked them what they prefer?  Or your customers?  The point is that we are all different, and communication is very important to us.  In fact it is rare to go into any organisation and ask people what really needs to be improved, for them not to say ‘communication’. 

What people really mean is that they want to be communicated with in the way they prefer, so that they feel someone is making an effort to connect with them.  I had a marketing manager once who had been helping people with a project for about six weeks.  Suddenly he involves me in an earnest conversation about the project and how he didn’t know anything about it.  What he was really saying was that I had not communicated with him, I had not connected with him, he didn’t feel he had been communicated with. 
Valuable Lesson number 1: never assume your communication has been received.

Have you ever been to a conference where important people have used many PowerPoint slides containing complex diagrams, charts and bullet points?  I once had an MD complaining that he had told everyone a really important point at their leadership conference and yet no one had acted on it.  I nodded sagely and sat through (rather, snoozed through) his presentation and I too had completely missed it.  
Valuable Lesson number 2:  if the point is important, make it important.

Nearly everyone I ask prefers to be communicated with face to face.  This is not surprising since this is what we’ve done for millennia.  However with modern technology we have developed different methods.  Consider also that some people have a visual preference, some auditory and others kinaesthetic.  Face to face covers all these bases whereas others may not suit some people.  Throw our range of physical abilities into the mix and someone who is long sighted, with a kinaesthetic communication preference, like myself, is never going to be too attached to texting.  
Valuable Lesson number 3:  learn to ‘text’ because there are people who prefer this method of communication, even if I don’t!

So what is the communication spectrum?
Remote
Face to face
Text
Visual
Phone
Video
Virtual
Letter
Print
Conference call
Video conference
2nd Life
E mail
Blog
Podcast
Webinar
Twitter
With advances in technology, I’m looking forward to the day when I can meet with my colleagues for an enjoyable dialogue with a virtual cup of coffee at Cafe Florien in St. Mark’s Square, Venice.  What could be better?  Actually, being there would be better.  
Valuable Lesson number 4:  Find work in Venice!