In this global marketplace where parties can be separated by distance, communications is a critical capability for success. Where, in the past, basic communications interpretation tools such as seeing the other person’s expression or hearing the inflection in the voice would help clarify communication misunderstandings or mistakes, the dependence on email, texting, and even video chatting has exposed significant issues for those that haven’t mastered the skills of communications techniques. Similar to developing new processes – communications skills require good execution before relying on technology to streamline the activity. Failure to master the rules of great communications skills runs the risk of technology magnifying the shortcomings in a person’s communications. While it sounds esoteric, there really is a method for ensuring strong communications skills. Here are three basic rules for communications excellence:
1) Communicate frequently and regularly. Consistency gets people comfortable with the tone, inflections, and how information is structured and processed. Regular communications creates a psychological conversation between the sender and the other person that makes it easier over time to exchange ideas without having to second-guess the other person’s message.
2) Focus on quality of message. Learning to communicate clearly in 50 words what takes many people 500 words is an important skill. Shorter, high quality messages tend to be received and remembered better by the recipient than long, wordy communications that ramble. Also, shorter impactful messages are better received when communicating frequently and regularly.
3) Ensure that the message is dependable. It only takes one or two material mistakes for credibility to be destroyed. It’s important to not only be confident and correct in the message, but in many cases, it’s important to defend the message with citations. One of the reasons that news articles and research papers cite sources is to establish credibility. This focus on delivering dependable messages accomplishes two things; 1) it makes the sender do the appropriate discovery work to ensure that the communication is correct, and 2) it establishes with the receiver that the sender has tried to ensure that the message is correct and gives them a point of reference for the dependability of the message. For example, conveying a request for a feature for a new product has much more weight if the feature request is backed up with specific customer feedback. The more reliable the messages are then the more trusted the messenger becomes.
You may wonder what this has to do with mobile computing devices and tablets. In some ways, it is exactly what mobile phones and tablets excel at – being tools for communications excellence. Tablets bring multiple communications tools together in one device; email, text, chat. Many tablets provide additional tools; video chatting (Skype and iChat), cameras, voice, video.
These tools, in conjunction with wireless capabilities, provide a great vehicle for communications excellence. Within the tablets’ messaging tools there is the ability to provide frequently and regularly. The cameras, video, and data capture capabilities help focus on quality of message as well as allowing for capture of information which highlights the dependability of the message.
Tablets enable a new level of communications, whether through form based applications that capture information and transmit them in a structured way , or as messaging platforms to help automate the basis of communications excellence; frequency, quality, and dependability.