This assignment called for us to observe an instance of communication through 3 different modalities; email, voicemail and face-to-face. The following are my observations regarding each of the attempts at communication:
It seemed that I was sensing panic and impatience from Jane but I also sensed that she was making an effort not to sound too alarming and accusatory. However she did sound mildly irritated. Her email left me wondering; Did she copy others on this email in an effort to drum up charges against Mark’s work? Could this email be used in a smear campaign?
The voicemail came across as more of a personal touch. I sensed Jane’s concern and anxiety over the missing pieces she needed to complete her own work but in hearing her voice it wasn’t overtly confrontational or accusatory. Still there was room for doubt. Was she angry but just exercising restraint? Is she gearing up to make Mark look bad?
There was more warmth conveyed in the message. It was clear that Jane wasn’t to the point of anger or irritability but she was extending her co-worker the professional courtesy of interfacing with them to voice her concerns over his adherence to the timeline.
This exercise confirmed my suspicion that despite your best effort to craft the pitch perfect email it can really never go over as well as an audio or visual interaction–preferably face to face. In the professional realm, my preferred mode of communication is email because it allows me to get messages quickly to multiple people…that and I like the idea of having a paper trail documenting any exchanges. This activity has helped me realize that I need to be more open to face-to-face exchanges and employ them wherever possible as it decreases the chance of things getting lost in translation.