Truth 16. Your goal and audience determine the best way to communicate

Jessica had worked for Kate, her new supervisor, for six months and found her boss’s style cold. So she wrote a long e-mail explaining how Kate could get better results from the staff by praising them more and not giving preferential treatment to a few.

Was that a good idea? Obviously not. Even if the boss wanted Jessica’s advice—not all that likely—a personal meeting would have been a better choice. The same is true the other way around: Jessica would much prefer an in-person critique of her performance to a written one.

Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best communication channel. Remember to take the individual person into account, especially his or her age. ...

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