When communicating with a person professionally, Stolovitch reminds us to have the purpose up front. Emails, voicemails, phone calls, virtual/live face to face interaction need to be free from certain things that distort the message and sure to include the things that make the message clear, concise, and focused; list issues, scope of problem, need and possible thoughtful win/win solutions. “Spirit and Attitude is key!” (Solovitch, n.d.).
The recipient should not be thinking about poorly structured or clumsily delivered messages, especially when everyone is under a deadline. Offering help, emboldening and championing team growth, can help send a clear and acceptable message. Following Standards of Communication can help to ensure the message is appropriately received. Be aware of your recipient like a writer that is aware of his audience.
Syntax and grammar issues make the tone seem unprofessional, patronizing and off-putting. It is selfish of a colleague to ask for data from a report that is not yet due, immediately after an all day meeting. Considering the colleague that is receiving the message, it was not well timed. When you know your colleagues has had a tough day it could be a bad time to ask him to put a rush on something, especially, for the sole sake of putting a colleague’s mind at ease.
Don’t dance around the message. Get to the point! Achong posits that when making requests from stakeholders, do so in an advisory or team building capacity. Ask questions that get directly to the heart of the needs of the team. Budrovich suggests tailor making communication strategies for each stakeholder. Knowing when the best time to talk to someone, how to be encouraging, team-oriented; being good steward is critical to the success of any project.
Don’t be a know it all. Never start a message that says “ I know you’ve been in a meeting all day but…” Unless it is absolutely urgent or for the overall benefit of the team, never ask for a sudden clumsy favor. If anything, try to build a relationship that allows a more unrestricted dialogue. It is not always what is said but, it’s how, when, and to whom it’s being said. A good relationship doesn’t have to tip-toe around favors or collaboration. Stolovitch also maintains that having Standards of Communication containing frequency, response time, language and format etc. should be a part of every project’s documentation process.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu