Communicating Effectively: Look, Listen, Read

In this blog I will be analyzing information received through three different environments; an email, a voice message and face-to-face message. The message is about the need for a missing report; you could view the module here

Two characters communicating through a string

Communication planning is one of the important aspects of an effective project management process (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008). There are three forms of communication, verbal, non-verbal and written; the message conveyed face-to-face relies greatly on the non-verbal cues associated with the message, like the tone, the body language and gestures (Verma, 1996). These non verbal cues are not available through written messages; therefore, written message should be clear, concise and focused (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.).


I had similar understanding of the message for email and voice mail message; through both I understood that Jane requires a late report from Mark so she could use it to finish her report on time. My understanding was that Mark is late in submitting his report to Jane. Through the face-to-face message, my understanding shifted to realize that Mark was not late, and Jane just wanted to make sure that she gets the data or report early so she could finish her task on time (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.).

Influential Factors

The main problems that affected my understanding of the email were the use of an acronym and the many words which are not related to the main request. Without non verbal cues and with no written words, the message over the phone could be interpreted as an angry request. I believe that the tone of the message contributed to this understanding. With the face-to-face conversation, I was able to gain much more understanding than the written and verbal messages. From looking at the setting and seeing Jane, it appears to me that she requesting this data from a colleague in an amicable way. Tone and body language are important factors that could affect the message (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.).

The True Message?

I believe that the message was clearly delivered through the face-to-face interaction. There were no barriers; in addition, the non verbal cues like eye contact, face expression and body language (Nayab, 2011) helped in recognizing the intent of the message, and gave more friendly tone than the other two messages.


Communication among project teams is crucial to the success of the project. Project managers should not rely on the The Messagedocumented information only; they should follow-up with their teams through regular meetings and progress reports (Portny, 2008) to make sure that the information is transmitted and received accurately. There are many factors that could affect a message transmitted between a sender and a receiver; these factors are the context and the environment in which the message is delivered through (Verma, 1996). Furthermore, culture, personalities and judgment are all factors that could affect the message (Verma, 1996). Project Managers should utilize the various forms of communication to deliver relevant and appropriate messages (Tyson, 2010).  In this module, the most effective message for me was the one delivered face-to-face, but this is not always the case in projects. Teams could be located in different locations and even in the same office there is a need to send informal messages via written communications or emails. Written communication should include a clear purpose with a friendly and respectful tone (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.).

Finally, it is recommended that project managers document conversations, verbal agreements and informal massage (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.) to be able to provide any supporting information related to the project.


Laureate Education Inc., (Producer). (n.d.). Communicating with stakeholders [Video webcast]. Retrieved from

Nayab, N. (2011). Comparing various forms of communication. Retrieved from

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Tyson, B. (2010). How important is communication in project planning. Retrieved from

Verma, V. K. (1996). The Human Aspects of Project Management: Human Resources Skills for the Project Manager, Volume Two. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management institute Inc.

[Untitled image of two characters communicating through a string]. Retrieved from


7 Responses to Communicating Effectively: Look, Listen, Read

  1. vandylb says:

    Wow, incredible interpretation of those three examples. Although I know face-to-face is considered the best mode of communication, I did not think so in this case. For the purpose of reminding someone about a responsibility that is linked to their own, a reminder note via email seems more appropriate than the more personal voice or F2F communication, initially anyway. I actually looked at these three events as a hierarchy of how you would approach the situation. First the note, then a voice message, and then if the lingering persists seek out the person for a chat.

    Anyway, awesome looking blog, keep up the good work!

  2. Sophia says:

    I enjoyed reading your post as well. You mention that documentation of communication is an essential piece to ensure a clear purpose. Although face to face communication can be an effective way to verify that the recipient recieves the conveyed message for the project. I think that an email would be the best form of message for the project. It serves as documentation and allows for a written response from the recipient. I also think that face to face communicaiton may serve as a reminder instead of the email.


  3. Jennifer Terrell says:


    Communication is very important between project team members. Break down of communication amongst team members can damage a project. My interpretation of the email was a little different than yours. I felt that in the email Jane sounded a pushy. She needed the missing report and she needed it now. As I went on to listen to the voicemail and the face-to-face message my interpretation changed. The voicemail made it more personable to me and the face-to-face message even more so. Although email is quick and easy I think that something urgent needs to be delivered either through voicemail or face-to-face. Stolovich (n.d.) states that effective communication is influenced by: spirit and attitude, tonality and body language, timing and personality of the recipient (focus). Jane presented all of these through her face-to-face message.

    Stolovitch, H. (n.d.). Communication with stakeholders. [Video Media]. Laureate
    Education, Inc.

  4. Jenny Benack says:


    Great post! You did a wonderful job of summarizing and providing examples of when each modality of communication can be used most effectively. As a future Instructional Designer, do you think that you will preference one of these modalities over another? Thanks for sharing your insight!


    • daliahanna says:

      Thanks Jenny for your comment and your question. As an ID I would utilize the three modalities in my communication. I learned this week that it depends on whom I am communicating with and the various personalities (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.). One important thing I also learned about is the importance of documenting all communications (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.). Dalia

  5. Dalia,
    Great Insight! I especially agree with the statement you quoted, communication among project teams is crucial to the success of the project. Project managers should not rely on the documented information only; they should follow-up with their teams through regular meetings and progress reports (Portny, 2008) to make sure that the information is transmitted and received accurately. Meeting on a regular basis is vital in knowing how the project is moving along. Sometimes everyone has to stop just to review the timeline and important information in a formal setting.

    Teresa F.

  6. tdeark says:

    I enjoyed reading your post, great job and insight to the different aspects of email, voicemail and F2F. While each of these is a form of informal communication (Portny, 2012) many people find it difficult to communicate via email or face to face. Portny discusses these issues in an example and states about one-third of project manager’s struggle with communication and interpersonal relations. Portny, et al recommends the PM to attend training of some type to build on this skill.

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