Office Communication Methods

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Communication is a critical component of success in an office atmosphere. As such, it is necessary to learn as much as possible about the different methods and channels available for transmitting information in the workplace. Technology and etiquette protocol provide a variety of options when you're trying to get your point across.

Email

  • One of the most popular forms of inter-office communication is email. There are a couple of reasons for its popularity. First, it allows for information to be sent at lightning-fast speeds, whereas paper communication may take time to deliver. Second, it provides a record of all communications between different parties that can be referenced or used for support in times of conflict. Third, it allows for the transfer of large files without having to rely on discs, thumb drives or hard copies. However, email also provides some potential for drama. Because text does not come with nonverbal indicators, emails can be misinterpreted very easily. As such, it is incredibly important to keep all email based communication professional in nature when messaging between co-workers in an office.

Presentations

  • Perhaps one of the most dreaded forms of office communication is the formal presentation. Formal presentations are usually utilized for communication when an idea needs to be "sold." For this reason, they are usually persuasive in nature and executed under high pressure. However, presentations have high utility as a form of communication. First, because the information is being presented in a structured, organized fashion, it is easier to understand and more likely to be accepted. Second, because the audience is right in front of those giving a presentation, the actual content of the presentation can be emphasized in a different manner based on the feedback being given. In other words, if it is clear that what you may have initially thought was the best advantage is not important to the audience, a different part can receive more attention. However, a sloppy and poorly prepared presentation can cause an audience to not only become uninterested in the intended message, but doubtful of the speaker in question in future instances.

Meetings

  • Meetings are an age-old form of interoffice communication. These usually involve a group of individuals working on similar tasks and are informative in nature. Meetings can be effective for a couple of reasons. Initially, they allow for a dialog to be established on a subject with immediate responses to concerns, comments or questions. Second, they force members of a group to work together, which historically leads to better productivity in a work setting. Unfortunately, meetings can become hostile if proper communication tactics are not executed. For example, defensive listening can instigate conflict, and a lack of participation can lead to massive amounts of frustration. Meetings only serve as an effective form of interoffice communication if all parties are committed to making it work.

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