In any given day, I communicate by sharing information in many different ways.

I talk to my daughters, my husband, my friends and neighbors, and anyone else I happen to see, face to face.

I send emails — lots of them.

I make phone calls; I text; I send Facebook messages; I tweet.

I write blog posts; I Skype; I exchange instant messages online.

Very rarely, I write handwritten letters or notes.

In this age of instant communication and social media, it is very important to carefully match your message to the most appropriate medium.

E-mail works for many work related missives but sometimes it is far more effective to pick up the phone. Text messages have an economy of words that is perfect for some conversations, but there are other conversations that require face to face interaction.

Writing on an acquaintance’s Facebook wall to wish them a happy birthday works fine… but if you want to communicate a deeper level of commitment or affection, you probably choose a different medium.

Consider the effect of a thank you sent in various mediums. Which would have the greatest impact for you: a verbal thank you delivered  in a staff meeting, among your peers; a handwritten note; an email; a text?

Because communication is about far more than just the words you use; the medium you choose for your message conveys a meaning of its own. And since people vary, you also need to consider which medium will be best received by your audience as well.

Leaders who communicate skillfully master the art of matching the right medium to the right message.

Join the conversation!

What is your favorite medium for communicating with others?

When have you noticed a disconnect between a person’s message and the medium they chose to deliver it?

How do you choose the right medium for your messages?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is reposted with permission.