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The Communication Problems with the Email

Identify the communication problems with the email

Communication is a sensitive issue because when one is saying or writing anything, the expectation is that the recipient will understand everything. It involves two or more parties but the basic ones are the sender and the receiver (Stuart, Sarow, & Stuart, 2007). The sender should use a language that the receiver can easily understand. The spelling should be correct, the grammar should be good and the accurate punctuation used in the message (Watson, 2009). The sender has a task to ensure that the message is concise and only gives the required information, that is, no unnecessary details are included.

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In the email given there are a number of mistakes that make the written information unreliable to the receiver. The recipients will most likely call or reply, asking for more details and explanations because the information provided is not sufficient. The content of the message to the fifty recipients is that there is a retirement party for one of their friends. However, it is unclear whether they are friends or work mates of the retiree.

The first problem in the mail is the lack of a reference date for the mail. Bobby is inviting the fifty people to the retirement party but he does not specify the date when the party will be held. This amounts to ambiguity and insufficient information supplied to the receivers (Whitney, 2002). Although he mentions that the party will be on Friday, the recipients can only guess the date. The result of such ambiguity is that either the recipients will seek clarification or assume their own specific date, hence confusion.

Conspicuously missing in the message is the location of the hotel where the party will take place. Logically, it is not possible that fifty people could know the specific hotel he is referring to, assuming the town has several of them. This implies that the receivers will have to find out this on their own either through phone calls or replying to this particular mail (Benefits communication drives bottom line for business, 2009). In the invitation to the party, it is not clear what kind of an invitation is given because no clear guidelines are provided. Bobby should have explained whether the receivers would come with friends or it was an invited only party. Further details on the types of meals to be served are also lacking in the message.

The issue of contributing money in most cases is always sensitive. In the mail, Bobby uses a poor approach when addressing the issue. He just mentions that they are planning to give Joe a ‘gift certificate’. One is left assuming that the contribution is for buying the gift certificate. This however is ambiguous because the contribution can be used to pay for the party expenses or purchase gifts for Joe. Further, there are no specified ways of how the contributions are to be forwarded and who will receive them. Money matters require accountability and therefore this should be made clear. The other problem in the mail is the use of the abbreviations ‘ASAP’. This is not a standard way of writing and therefore should not be used in a case where up to fifty people are involved. Such abbreviations can amount to misunderstanding by some of the recipients (Whitney, 2002).

Using the 10 Cs for Writing Effectively, rewrite the email. Include: content, completeness, correctness, clarity, coherence, conciseness, connection, creativity, courtesy, and closure.

TO: Bobby Johnson

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RE: RETIREMENT PARTY

Hello everyone. I would like to inform those of us who are not aware, that Joe Banyon is retiring next month. As his friends, we have thought of organizing a farewell party in his honor.

The party will be held on Friday 11th November 2011, at Rosewalk Hotel, starting at 6.00 pm. Rosewalk Hotel is on Fifth Avenue next to the police headquarters. Organizing the party will cost $500, which we kindly ask all of us to contribute. Each one of us will be required to give not less than $17 in order to facilitate for a three course meal and drinks. You can bring along your spouses. We also intend to give him a certificate and a gift to be determined by contributions received. Please forward your contributions to John Erick whom you can contact through the phone number 1-928-289-1807.

We hope to hear from you the soonest possible. Your contributions and any feedback or suggestions are highly welcomed.

Yours faithfully,

Bobby.

Identify which Cs you used where and how that changed the email in terms of the effectiveness

Communication can be improved by using the 10 Cs of communication design when communicating a message (Watson, 2009). Some of the Cs used in the email above includes, content, completeness, correctness, clarity, conciseness, connection, courtesy, and closure.

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Content means that a specific question is answered in the message (Stuart, Sarow, & Stuart, 2007). The theme of the mail above is the retirement party and therefore all details revolve around this issue. The message is also as detailed as possible to facilitate clear understanding. The completeness is taken care of by the message having an introduction, body and conclusion. This C is clear in the mail above. Correctness and clarity means that there is no punctuation, grammatical or format errors in the message. Proof reading was applied in order to cross check and ensure no mistakes passed unnoticed. The message above is clear because no jargons, slang or abbreviations were used.

The letter is concise and direct to the point. No unnecessary details are included; hence the message is easy to understand. Further, there is a flow and a connection between the different parts of the message right from introduction, body and conclusion. The closure is kind and official because of the content of the message. Finally, courteous is maintained especially when requesting for contributions towards the party.

Identify the strategies used for composing a more effective message

There are various resources for effective communication when sending a message and the 10Cs, are a good summary of the requirements. The basic strategy means that the message should be complete, consistent, clear and without grammatical or punctuation errors. The sender should avoid using inappropriate sarcasm, similes and metaphors (Watson, 2009). Using polite language in the letter will ensure courtesy is maintained through the letter.

However, above all this, the most effective strategy according to “Benefits communication drives bottom line for business” (2009), is when the sender of the message seriously considers the recipient of the message when writing. This way, the probability of miscommunication or misunderstanding is reduced because the writer will do as much as possible to make sure the reader understands the message. The sender by thinking about the receiver will follow all the basic requirements without being coerced and the result is effective communication. This strategy is most effective in cases of written messages where the message can be proof read and corrections made before actually sending the information.

References

“Benefits communication drives bottom line for business”. (2009, Apr 07). PR Newswire, pp. n/a. Web.

Stuart, B. E., Sarow, M. S., & Stuart, L. (2007). Integrated business communication: In a global marketplace. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Watson, G. (2009). ‘C’ change. ASQ Six Sigma Forum Magazine, 8(3), 32-32. Web.

Whitney, J. (2002). Documentation 101: Mastering the 7C’s and other helpful hints. Rural Telecommunications, 21(3), 42-45. Web.

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