The Medium Might Be the Problem
Sometimes, the message sent is not the message received. The multiple mediums and channels we use to communicate with others make it easy to miss or ignore important messages. In a big stack of emails, for example, it is commonplace to pass over a message and simply not see it. Or, at a glance, presume it is something trivial.
Even more common, you may have every intention of replying to a particular email, only to have that plan evaporate as more emails wash in by the hundreds. We lose track of many messages simply because they compete with so many others.
Knowing this, savvy communicators learn that switching between channels will often help a message gain traction, even if it was missed or dismissed on the first pass. Sending a message in a different medium can indicate a shift in urgency or a greater intensity underlying the message.
We can become way too reliant on a given channel of communication. As a consequence, we run the risk of others not attending to important messages in the way we would like.
Some messages are too complex for a given medium, such as email, or even text. These kinds of messages require a virtual call or live meeting to work through them clearly. Other messages carry too much emotion to be sent through a medium without the social cues to convey that emotion. We would like to think emojis and exclamation marks solve this in text messages, but the truth is the hidden code of emotion displayed through text is undecipherable by many people, even those who claim otherwise.
By becoming too dependent on one medium in a given relationship (such as text), at times, we lose the ability to communicate the emphasis of what really matters. The smarter play is to shift temporarily to another medium to shake things up and convey more clearly what we need to say. Any time a message sent is not a message received from your viewpoint, switch to another medium. You’ll find people pay attention and understand you better when you do.
Great points! Let’s add sending fewer messages to the tool kit since feeling bombarded by someone over and over again, even with different messages over time, may create a sense of fatigue with the writer, which leads to potentially missing something important.