Communicating Effectively in Business

How did your interpretation of the message change from one modality to the next?
The message between Jane and Mark sounded very straight forward to me and to me it meant business. One of the most robust findings in the sociological literature is the positive effect of communication and trust which is established through building rapport. Even if the tone is straight forward, to get something done a positive tone is where you want to begin. The modality of the email was straight forward and could have been interpreted as rude or unemotional to the receiver. This is not a morale builder when you reviewed and email with as little positive influence as this one did. Compared to the voicemail modality, it was much friendlier with the tone of her voice that could be received much better. Jane’s sincerity was more palpable and believable, bur she is also putting a little more pressure on Mark do to the time constraints but this just shows urgency not rudeness. The face-to-face modality was my personal favorite form of communication because body language and voice tones can be considered at the same time giving the receiver more to work with when interpreting the intentions of the speaker. Even though Jane is visibly frustrated she is showing it is not exactly at Mark, but at the situation itself in my opinion.
What factors influenced how you perceived the message?
To decipher the differences in communication I used my perception of what the point of the communication was. What emotions were trying to be communicated with each modality? I assume that Jane was trying to say the same thing, but you can tell through having more than just words typed on a computer screen will give you more information and a window into what is really trying it be said. Writing is not always clear and we do our best to give more emotion in our writing but in business it is hard to put your point your there without sounding rude. Face to face is still the best form of communication being able to see all the verbal and physical cues.
Which form of communication best conveyed the true meaning and intent of the message?
The face-to-face modality was and is my number one choice and I believe it conveyed the true meaning of the message when I was able to hear and see the sender.
What are the implications of what you learned from this exercise for communicating effectively with members of a project team?
When sending communications you must establish where you are coming from and what you are trying to accomplish. When sending an email it must be generic and only display instructions and establish that. To state urgency you must do that through emotion and that cannot be displayed as well through writing unless you’re a novelist and a good one at that. I feel through a phone call this can be accomplished, but then you can see someone it is the best way so that nothing is left unsaid or not understood because you can see and hear the person’s emotion.

Thank you for Reading!



3 thoughts on “Communicating Effectively in Business

  1. Dear Eric,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and interpretations this week. Hunter (n.d.) contends that there are benefits to face-to-face communication that include relationship building opportunities and, as you mention, nonverbal cues that support the message. While the business world does not always allow for face-to-face communication, it is an important skill to develop. What are your thoughts regarding the argument that there is more opportunity for misinterpretation when emotions are mixed into messages? That is, are there also drawbacks to face-to-face communication that can be mitigated by electronic communications? I welcome any thoughts that you may have.


    Hunter, B. (n.d.). The subtle benefits of face-to-face communication. Retrieved from

  2. Eric,
    Thank you for sharing your analysis. I personally like face-to-face when I have many questions in mind and I need to go over specifics. However, when I am busy like Mark was, I prefer emails or voicemails. People are different and have their own communication preferences. But when we work in projects, it is necessary to set up modes and rules of communication from the beginning (Laureate Education, n.d.).
    Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video file]. Retrieved from

  3. Eric, it’s interesting that you got the perception that the email was rude. I didn’t quite get that impression, but I did feel that with just the email, the sense of worry and urgency came across much stronger than in the other two modalities. It certainly leaves more room for interpretation, and in a work context where you don’t know people that well, that interpretation can have a tendency to have a negative filter. When I was reading the email, I wondered if the phrases like “I know you’re busy” were genuine or if they were just “padding” before she got to the request. Did you notice that the voice actress for the phone voice mail was different than the face-to-face actress? Did that throw you off at all? I think the experiment would have been better if they took the audio recording of the face-to-face, or something similar, and used it as the voice mail. It would be interesting to see how much of a difference the body language alone is really making in this instance. What do you think? At any rate, it was very interesting actually seeing the face-to-face person. I think if I was asked to describe what the emailer would look like if she were in person I would say nervous and anxious, but her body posture is much more relaxed that what either of us got out of the email. Good post!

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