First steps in Instructional Design!
Upon viewing this week’s multimedia program, I agree that effective communication truly is an art. Everyone brings their own history, understanding, and experience to each interaction and it can clearly cause difficulty if someone assumes that others think the same way they do. In the modalities given, I noticed a softening of her message that corresponded to the level of personal interaction. For example, her email seemed formal, a bit demanding, and forceful when she said, for example, “I need an ETA on the missing report…”. However, when she said it on the phone and even more so in person, she sounded friendly, willing to cooperate, and not demanding in the least. In Communicating with Stakeholders, Dr. Stolovitch emphasized that communication is not simply words, but is influenced by factors such as spirit and attitude, tonality and body language, timing, and the personality of the recipient (Laureate Education, n.d.). This is most evident when the message is delivered via text only, without the benefit of the factors Dr. Stolovitch mentioned, such as body language and tonality.
What this means as a future project manager and instructional designer is that I must be cognizant of the method of delivery for both high-level and daily correspondence. I cannot assume that others will interpret my relaxed and friendly tone via email, but that many messages should be delivered in a more personal manner in order to avoid misinterpretation and miscommunication. In addition to this, Dr. Stolovitch also emphasized that we must document all communication, even an informal conversation. His idea of keeping a daily, informal journal is very realistic in today’s busy office environments (Laureate Education, n.d.). Making simple notes throughout the day as you have conversations will likely come in handy at some point in the project. Another point to consider is whom I am delivering the message to. In Practitioner Voices: Strategies for Working with Stakeholders, Dr. Budrovich says to tailor your communication in order to fit the needs of your stakeholders, not just to communicate in the style that is most preferred by you (Laureate Education, n.d.). This entails getting to know project team members and communicating with them in the manner in which the message will be the most readily received. Dr. Budrovitch usually keeps people informed through a combination of email and public meetings, while delivering more personalized messages to the high-level stakeholders (Laureate Education, n.d.). But, considering that communication is an art, this combination may not be appropriate for every work environment.
This exercise clearly demonstrates how communication is affected by the factors that Dr. Stolovitch discussed. It is crucial for project managers and instructional designers to be aware of the “message” they are sending along with their actual correspondence through their tone or choice of words. These “messages” can add to confusion or frustration on a project if not handled properly. Effective communication can be achieved with a bit of work, thought, and care for the recipient along with the information being conveyed.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3468161_1%26url%3D
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (n.d.). Practitioner voices: Strategies for working with stakeholders. [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3468161_1%26url%3D