How do you know when you should give something to employees in writing, or when you should have a meeting or when you can just call someone to discuss it?  Which option is best?

First you want to look at what you are trying to accomplish in your communication.

If you are wanting to handle a conflict that is always best done by talking face to face.  Why? because you need to gather the facts and information and you want to be able to see the other person’s body language as well as their words.  Email can work to set up the discussion but is a poor way to handle the conflict because it leads to way too many misinterpretations.

If you are wanting to create momentum for a project, then it is best to do that in a large group discussion.  Get everyone together and rally the group momentum.  It allows all to hear from your one time what is important and why.

If you are wanting to get buy in on a controversial issue, it is often good to go to each stakeholder and gain buy-in on the goal you are trying to reach. This ensures that when you present to the entire group you have the buy-in already.  Key thing here is you have to make sure you get buy-in on the highest level outcome, not sub outcomes.  If you get buy-in on alternate or sub outcomes you will never be able to get the entire group focused at the main meeting.

It is important that you figure out what you are trying to achieve so you can then determine what environment will best help you achieve that.

Take Action:

This week look at three key activities you need to accomplish and take just two minutes to figure out what will be the best approach to gain the long-term results you desire.