Face-to-face communication

ASSIGNMENT

  • Provide recommendations for how the miscommunication could have been alleviated or avoided.

POST # 1

I believe writing to be a necessary form of communication in our society. I personally feel that it has become more important than most face-to-face communication. However, I feel that face-to-face communication is a much better avenue. Much of our interpersonal communication has shifted from actually engaging with each other to being one almost exclusively digital. Especially throughout the last year with the ongoing pandemic. We use writing for text messages, e-mails, and social media posts. While I personally would prefer to speak to someone in person, the ability to text or email at any time has made it much easier to communicate anything at nearly any time. This however can lead to some serious miscommunication because if the text or e-mail is written poorly, the person receiving the message can read the message in a way that may be the complete opposite of what was intended.

A recent example from my own experience is texting my supervisor about taking time off. For context, I am a self-employed contract worker. My supervisor is only supposed to be in charge of making sure I have work to do when I am available. I sent a text telling him that I was planning on returning a set of rental equipment needed to do the job and taking the following week off until my personal equipment would be available again. Usually this would be a conversation I would have in person but I was stuck out of town. I received no response. About an hour later I received a call from his boss informing me that taking time off last minute was unacceptable and if it were to happen again I would no longer be contracted to the company. Confused, I asked what he was talking about and by the end of our conversation I realized that my text message was poorly worded and did not communicate well enough that I was asking if waiting on my equipment would be a problem.

POST # 2

My personal beliefs about written communication is that it is a powerful tool that can lead people to quickly form an opinion about the writer. People will quickly decide in the first few sentences if the writer is intelligent and knows what they are talking about, or if they are an idiot and shouldn’t waste their time reading. Therefore it is important to make sure that when you are writing anything, to anyone, that you stop and think about what you are talking about in the communication. Spelling and punctuation are important, but if the subject of the communication is uninformative, gibberish or just hard to follow, the reader will not gain anything and may even think less of the writer.

I am in the US military and miscommunication is nothing that is outside of the norm. I think that is because we have so many different people with different backgrounds and ways of thinking. Personally, I have had numerous miscommunications with our shop maintenance log books. People go out to an aircraft, do certain things to maintain them and have to record what they did in a book or email. This can easily lead to miscommunication because this is the last thing that is done before everyone goes home. Many of my coworkers and I have occasionally made the mistake of forgetting to document something I did to fix jet. When the next shift is working, they may end up repeating the same work that was accomplished because of the lack of information in the log book. The biggest mistake I made lead the next shift to repeat the work that I had already done and then they replaced an aircraft part that had already been replaced. This was a waste of time and effort because I forgot to make sure that I wrote down all that my shift had done. Other interesting situations were caused by emails that I had sent out. You may type and read an email in your own way, but the person receiving the email may not read it the same way. I had written an email to a person who was higher in rank and also worked in another agency in a way that offended them. This angered the person and they brought this up through their chain of command. Next thing you know I am explaining to my supervisor about why I need to work on my ability to communicate, dealing with the lost time due to the offense and getting my but chewed for wasting my leadership’s time with something so silly. That taught me to make sure that I take others perceptions into mind when reviewing communications prior to sending them to anyone. This has also helped me when I get communications from others that may have been ignorant of this when I receive poor communications.

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