Throughout our careers and indeed our lives, we are required to communicate with those who surround us. These communications can take on various forms or mediums, be it a face-to-face meeting, a telephone call, an email, text or even through social media. Deciding on what form of communication to use at any given point can be an important part in successfully getting your message across.
For example you need a colleague to do a job for you, do you get up from your desk and go into their office? Do you email them? Or do you call them? Before making the decision regarding the communication medium, it is important to consider the type of information being sent, how complex the task and perhaps most importantly the recipients ability to decipher your message successfully.
It has been argued that face-to-face communication make more detailed discussions easier, this may be due to the ability to ask and or answer questions and therefore clarify the intended message immediately. Written communication can provide detailed instructions or notes of discussions and a hardcopy can stored ensuring easy reference for the future. Online communications have increased in popularity dramatically over the last decade due to providing cheap, fast and efficient communication that can also easily be stored for future reference.
At times you may engage more than one communication channel to convey a particular message, for instance for a more complex task you may email the particulars to a colleague but then perhaps also go see them to ensure they have understood your request. This can work both ways, for example if you receive an email you do not understand or are unsure of, a face-to-face meeting may be required.