The tools used in communicating are just as important as the message

We frequently assume that everyone uses the same tools to communicate that we do. If we prefer to communicate via email, we assume everyone does. If we prefer to tweet, we assume everyone does. Like to text? Everyone must! Prefer posting on Facebook walls, that must be everyones preference as well.

The reality is, if you choose to communicate using a tool that the intended recipient doesn’t use, your message (which might be brilliant) will be missed.

As an example, I have a twitter account. If someone sends me a tweet on twitter, I will most likely never see it as I don’t check that very often. If someone chooses to send me a text message, if I am away from my computer I will most likely receive the message since I usually have my cell phone with me. However, since my phone indicates an email is received the same way that texts are, if I’m at my computer and cell phone vibrates, I just assume it’s one of the many emails that come in and ignore it.

One of the people I respect more than anyone in the world doesn’t have an email account. His wife has one and checks it every couple of weeks so if I want to communicate with them and choose to send an email, they might not see it for a month. On the other hand, I can call them or send them a regular letter and they will get it much quicker. Even though email is my preferred means of communicating, I have to remember who the intended audience is.

Make the wrong choice and you will never know if the problem was the tool or the message.

Have a great day!


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