ML-04-01 Communication Tools that are Fit for Purpose

When considering what to use to communicate with others we will use different tools. These may include:

  • WhatsApp
  • Email
  • SMS
  • Phone Calls and WhatsApp Calls
  • Video Calls

We need to ask why we are communicating, and who we are communicating with, before we can decide how we should communicate. Perhaps we need to consider the tool being fit for the purpose:

Ask yourself whether you need to interact with one, or more parties. Ask if you want to keep a record of the interaction. Is the reason for interaction important and is it necessary to interrupt the other person (as you don’t know what they are busy with). If you need information do you need it now, or can it wait until tomorrow or this evening.

Do you expect others to immediately respond to your interactions? How often do you check your emails, WhatsApp messages, SMSs and social media services (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and others)?

Like you, everyone else is busy too. Respect this and use a tool that is appropriate:

  • Audio and Video Calls – These interrupt a person if they are busy and have not switched their device to silent or off. You could be interrupting an important meeting. Remember what is important to you may not be as important to someone else.
  • Emails – don’t expect an immediate response. Some people check email infrequently and you may only get a response in a day or two.
  • WhatsApp – You can see when person was last seen online, and whether their mobile is on, your message is delivered, and whether it has been opened. Less intrusive than a phone call. May be responded to fairly quickly if one-to-one message, less likely to get rapid response from an individual if you communicate with them in a group.

Each of us use the tools in our own way. There is no standard guide that everyone sticks to when using communication tools.