Do you remember the kid’s game Telephone? By playing Telephone we learned that the more removed the receiver is from the communicator the more the story changes. Like Telephone, filtered or distant communication can often leave the receiver with a different view than was intended by the sender. These misunderstandings can inadvertently cause relational stress and reduced trust.
Every study of non-verbal communication since the 1960’s has validated the importance of tone and body language over the spoken or written words used when accurate communication is important.
Based on this, when we’re aiming to build relationships the most preferred modes of communication are:
- In person, face-to-face
- Via video with sound - use tools like Skype or Google Hangout
- Audio - use the phone or voice-mail
- And lastly, via text - such as email and memo
Email is a great tool for saying “yes” or “no,” but when you’re looking to be understood nothing comes close to the effectiveness of face-to-face.