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Best Modes for Communicating (redirected from modes of communication)

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 6 years, 7 months ago

What are good rules of thumb for deciding the best way to communicate with someone in terms of calling, emailing, texting or meeting in person?


There are no hard and fast rules in the world of communication, but here are some guidelines and helpful tips you can follow. 



If you need to communicate with an elderly grandparent, chances are the best way would be face-to-face or phone call. Often older people do not text the same way younger generations do. Not only that, but face-to-face might be more appreciated. That being said, social media is a great way to keep in touch with family members you may not normally call or email. The dating world can be tricky, and in texting you may get mixed messages. Try and go for the in person meet up as this may build a relationship more than a text. Don’t forget the power of a good phone conversation either, that can make deep connections. 



Be professional in any e-mail or phone call, make sure you have correct grammar, and don’t use emojis. If your boss calls you, call him/her, go off of what they do. Remember, face-to-face is very powerful and professional, if you can say it in person do that rather than e-mailing. In business, you want to build trust, so you’ll have to decide how to go about this. Often, phone calls or video calls work well in this situation as texting or e-mailing is a hard way to develop a trusting relationship. Another way to approach work related communication is by asking the other person what they prefer.


Subject matter/priority:

You can discern what mode of communication you should use by the situation. If it is an urgent matter, a call rather than a text may be a better idea since you want to get in touch with them quickly. If you are busy you may text or e-mail, this would be best if you do not need an immediate reply. In terms of contractors (electricians, plumbers…) you should call them and talk to them rather than text or e-mail, this ensures communication that may not happen otherwise. Although calling is used to get in touch quickly, you may find yourself unable to have a conversation, so texting is a good alternative to communicate with someone immediately. E-mail is a good way to keep job connections going, or scheduling interviews and such. E-mails also allow you to check-in with prospective employers. For networking, that is best done in person. If the subject is sensitive, or “heavy” then you may want to call, or meet in person. Conversations that are ordinary and about daily life can often be done over text.



“How you communicate it all depends on the person you are talking with and if they want to respond or not," reminds Mainiac. You must remember you are working with many different personalities. For example, introverts may prefer talking through writing such as text or e-mail. Others may want face-to-face interaction to get a sense of the person’s body language or voice inflections. Many people believe trusting relationships can only be built when you meet in person. Either way, a person’s personality matters, and you must discern what that is. Older generations may prefer meeting in person, while younger generations don’t mind texting for a while first. In then end you should meet people where they are comfortable, and realize that you have to communicate differently with everyone.


This page was developed from interviews with:

Fiona Lovecraft, Fred Caldwell, Mainiac, Felix Golding, Igor O'hara, Larry Conrad, Vicky Lewis, Arthur Percy


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