There are many different types of communication these days, especially with all the devices out there.  We can write each other, call each other, text, face-to-face meetings, emoji’s, social media, presentations, webinars, and so many others.  So, what happens when something is missing?

Let’s look at an example of doing a training session.

If we are in a classroom, we have the opportunity to use our eyes, gestures and even how we dress to communicate, along with our words and perhaps handouts or a PowerPoint.  All of these help us express ourselves in the way we want to be understood.  We are able to not only communicate the information, but put emphasis on things, show our emotions, or even role play, when we are in person or face-to-face.   If we do the same training on a webinar, we are missing the visual cues for: eye contact, gestures and even our clothes.  What does this mean?  It means we may not be able to fully communicate points to the audience or stress a point like we would in person or show our professionalism.  Now let’s say we just email the training in a PowerPoint to our employees and ask them to read it.  So much is missing in the communication.  You are not there to stress key points, your employees cannot see your gestures, emotions or even for you to have role play to practice techniques you may be trying to teach, and how do you even confirm they read it?

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for all of these.  It is about choosing the right one to ensure you communicate exactly what you want to.  If role play for practice is not important, then perhaps a webinar will do.  If feedback or interaction is important, but you have people all across the country, then a webinar may be perfect.  If you have no key points but important information to pass on, then maybe just an email will work.

Ask yourself: what is the best way to communicate this so that my receivers understand what it is and will be able to use the information properly?

As you can see, we communicate in a lot more ways than just words.  Gestures and eye contact are visual clues for the other parties to receive information you are trying to share.  Clothes can show people how serious or professional we expect to be.  Written words or pictures can help with providing examples, definitions or to add to a presentation to help keep attention.  Face – to – face allows us to role play (as with training), see facial expressions, show emotions or to ask for feedback.  You need to remember all types of communication and pick the best ones for what you are trying to communicate.

Something not working?  Try a different way, use multiple parts of communication, or reach out for a coaching session.

Happy Communicating!

Tara Lehman

(picture from Go Daddy stock images)

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