Global Market Communication
Communication is Key
“In writing of any kind, the important thing is to plant an idea in the reader’s mind or to stimulate feelings or emotions. In all effective writing, one person and only one person is important—the reader”(Beckley, 1991, pp 10-12).
An e-mail was written to the prosecuting attorney requesting guidance, and interpretation of law. The e-mail began with the recipient’s name and proceeded to make a statement about the health of the client. The e-mail further conveyed the poor treatment received by the client’s roommate, and positioned several layers of abusive treatment that was suffered at the hands of the victim’s roommate.
I concluded the letter requesting information concerning my role as an advocate desiring to assist the client with answering the question of common law marriage and his rights and responsibilities to his roommate claiming common law marriage.
“Studies have found people spend 70 to 85 percent of their work time deliberately communicating through writing, reading, speaking, and listening; In a survey of 480 companies and public organizations by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the ability to communicate ranked first among personal qualities of college graduates sought by employers” (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para. 30).
While analyzing the e-mail two errors came to the forefront. The e-mail was hurried and lacked edit and polish. A thank you was also not contained in the body or within the closing of the e-mail.
Complete and Clear
The e-mail was complete, it answered all six questions, who, why, where, what, how, and when. The letter was also clear. The e-mail was layered with information.
I wanted the attorney to know of the dire state of the client, and I wanted her to feel compassion for the situation, so she would provide me with the answers to help him.
My objective was to assist my client as efficiently and effectively as possible. I had been researching the question for many hours; if it could be easily answered my search for information would be over.
I used familiar words, and avoided shop talk. Although, there is little that I would change, In the future I would make sure that main ideas are separated. This e-mail was a small paragraph blocked together. Instead of separate blocks of information, that may be more clearly stated by mere space for reflection.
Some negative aspects to sending this mode of communication, there is no control of receiving the sought after information, and when sending sensitive and confidential information it can be problematic.
Courteous and Character
“Ten years ago, businesses began to use e-mail as a means of communication—and five years ago it began to take on a life of its own. Today, it is rare that someone doesn't have e-mail, even someone who is not technically inclined” (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006).
There were no grammatical or spelling errors in the letter. Common Law question, appeared in the subject line. Even though, the e-mail was friendly the absence of thank you or something equally as professional would facilitate the request for information, and appear more courteous. In whole, the e-mail contained character.
“Your document contains character when it holds no stereotyped words or worn-out clichés and when it breathes the spirit of consideration for your reader” (Roebuck & McKenney, 2006).
The feedback was received within moments of receiving the message, Roebuck and McKenney state, “Immediate feedback is best” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 34).
I did not, however, find this to be the case. It seemed that the response was not well thought out and missed the point of the e-mail. “The environment in which the communication process occurs may influence the probability of success or failure” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 35).
As soon as the response to the e-mail was received it was apparent that a question of such imperative nature should not be requested through an electronic medium, but should be reserved for in person contact.
External and Internal Noise
Noise refers to distractions either externally or internally. I had not suffered from outward disturbances that affected the resulted haste in my writing; it was more of an internal factor.
I do not have a great opinion of the receiver of the e-mail. This aspect may have colored my view of what I was seeking and translated from a misguided attempt in retrieving ordinary legal information into wanting to be the client’s attorney.
“This type of noise comes from within and could include such factors as dislike of your receiver, distraction by another problem, prejudice against a person, closed-mindedness on an issue—even lack of interest” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 30).
“When you make an inference, you draw a conclusion based on facts; the process works as follows: You observe something and, as a result, gain information, and analyze the information and draw a conclusion about what you have observed” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 36).
I expected a response that I did not receive. The decoder inferred that I was doing more for the client than I needed to do, and found that I was providing legal advice, when I was not. This misunderstanding lead to a negative performance review, and was in essence a massive misunderstanding.
“By the year 2010, face-to-face interaction in business may be largely unnecessary; the ability to see each other through our telephones and send documents from anywhere could easily render face-to-face meetings and business travel redundant, although technology continues to change, people will determine the future.
The written word, judgment, and common sense will never be replaced by hardware” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 40). Communication is critical for people to understand each other. If employees, students, and business owners, do not make communication a priority their success may suffer, as well as everyone else that can benefit from the recognition and comprehension that true understanding can bring forth. All people are somehow connected, and their lives intertwined.
What are the effects on a miscommunication of a delivery of ice cream to a store on a hot July day? The confusion of delay may create revenue loss that may contribute to increased costs that can affect the consumer, which in turn affects the business, and can ultimately affect the economy which affects everyone’s personal financial systems.
Electronic mail is a platform for one kind of communication. “Technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and conduct business. Yet, the most vital element of communication remains the continued development of an organization’s most valuable resource—its people” (Roebuck & Mckenney, 2006. Chapter 1, para 39).
Peg Neuhauser - Expert on Organizational Culture and Communication
Beckley, J. (1991). The Secret of Good Communication. Bits and Pieces, The Economics Press,Inc., Fairfield, NJ 07004–2565, 1–800–526–2554, pp. 10–12, Forth Edition. Chapter 2.
Roebuck, D. & McKenney, M. (2006). Improving Business Communication Skills, Fourth Edition. Chapter 1, 2.