Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I think I figured out why I am wary of posting on my blog - choosing my words and typing in to be precise. Communication explosion at work. I have never earlier talked to 30 different people and respond to 40+ mails each day - choosing the words and framing statements so that the message reaches the way you intend to - firm, crisp and diplomatic. 

I can segregate write-ups (emails, technical documents) as one of the below; with my experience :)
  • A long writeup which can help relieve ennui or might cause headaches; you scan for relevant and useful data but you find none.
  • One that is scattered with too many morphemes the way Anil writes(for most of us thats giving our dictionary extra work); which can lead to a confabulation later. Anil, this is a compliment :) 
  • Firm and point blank, assertive ones which can be mistaken for aggression. 
  • Write ups which are not mindful of the language flow, continuation and grammar. It still could pass the intended message or cause chaos.
Shhessh!! I have even started to bullet out my blog post!! I have been learning a lot on written communication. Its difficult to gather the tone of the other party when all that you get are words to read. You dont want to read more to it; neither would you want to miss the message. I have been weighing the statements I make, the choice of words. If you have been reading me for sometime; you might have noticed my obsession with "never". I am taking extra caution about not using 'NOT' and other negative words.

Another trick I have learnt is to not give the other party a choice of YES/NO but to be assertive and ask for next set of information. Its not "Can I please use the infrastructure?" but "I plan to start using the infrastructure; please share the relevant details."

So yeah, lot of things in BIG GOOD(pun intended) corporate world :) I am learning! I am learning :)

PS : I just noticed that its quite a short post for communication.


  1. Post is short, Point Blank and of course delivers its content at the same time quiet diplomatic and getting me my dictionary.


    Keep Smiling.

  2. Cool observations!
    Am taking some learnings home.
    I like Point no. 2!! :))

  3. This is why most of our journalists remain as 'paid writers'.Most of them say the routine writing kill the creative person inside.

    Internationally,the new era of journalism urges the writer to be as simple as they can,to be precise and comprehensive in all respects.

    Whatever you learn,don't let it kill the creative in you.Cheers Insi !

  4. you know i need those lessons and you please teach me ..
    two weeks back i got a a telling off for using a word which i should not have .. I wrote a reply to a email thinking i ma being helpful..

    I started with

    "I guess that is because "... and the word GUESS Oh my god I never ever got a sarcy email ever..
    Can we please have a conclusive answer to how this works, I do not want guess work. "

    :) and now I dont reply to anyone .. even if it is to help ...



  5. B, You convey the message in simple direct language. The nuances of trickery in telling something has not been noticed yet in your writings.

    In fact since I do not find you asking to be read between lines , may be I have not noticed your conscious use and shunning of words.

    I'm afraid that if I have been choosing words that are not in common dialogues, it is only because I have gotten used to that in written language. And I generally try to use words that I deem to be apt and power packed for the message and meaning I intend to convey.Like for instance the choice of the word "envy" over "jealousy".The later deprecates the person , while the former will give him a semblance of common fallibility.

    Gifted are the ones like Rushdie who play poetry with sentences and words as pearl beads. The likes of Maugham and Hemminway are simple , direct and seldom require a dictonary.
    While retired Justice Krishnamoorthy would provide you with amazing vocabulary that plunges the desired meaning .

    And the astute woman Bindu from Blore is simple, direct and good without mincing words.

  6. short and sweet post. but i hate when i have to communicate something technical by mail. that sucks.

  7. Tried to post a comment couple of times, why not appearing????

    To communicate is to connect. Nothing else. Some people try to connect, some try to shout their presence, that's all.

  8. Insignia,
    One thing I learn about communication is that one cannot not communicate. Even a silence is communicating something. So choosing not to say anything can be as strong a message as shouting one. What is more important is to close the gap between the intended and the perceived. To date only Coke dare say "It is the real thing!" Even then a question was raised, "What is real?"

  9. Good post trying to decipher the actual communication behind different modes. Written communication is always fraught with the danger of being misinterpreted or overread especially official communication.

  10. Short,simple and so expressive.
    Incidentally, I have taken a cue from your last post and have decided to be more regular on my blog. I have posted one today.

  11. ah communication. Whenever I am teaching business communication, I start the subject with a small test - a test on punctuation marks. It's fun to hear the answers of students. More fun is when you give them an essay to write at the end of the lecture.

    At the end of the course, however, most of my students develop the basic writing skills. It feels good :)

    Bah, my rants! A totally irrelevant comment!

  12. You have pointed out various aspects of communication, I know its a great deal when it comes to conveying the right thoughts across as appropriate as possible. Well written post crsip and clear. When I need more help - will reach out to you..

  13. This is so true...

    I find it so difficult to communicate via mails ...especially with higher officials.. The message would be simple, but have to think so many times before hitting the send button!

    Corporate world:)

  14. Follow Lore.
    Follow KISS. (Keep It Simple Stupid)

  15. You remind me of communication classes in a business school :)!! You can start with Insignia Corporate communication classes!

  16. Communication, used with appropriate punctuations, can make the mood and the intent of the writer visible.
    As do smileys.

    I remember sending a mail to my immediate boss with my "why" having a bit too many question marks. The fact that I used that liberty was because he was a good friend too. The idea was to assert the importance of the "why". If the boss wasn't a friend too, the mail would have been inappropriate. Especially if he ever needs to forward it to his seniors. :)

    I guess what I am trying to say is that , it depends on the kind of communication and the liberties you can use. And also on how close the writer is to you. :)

  17. Business communication...it really does take a lot of effort to sound confident, diplomatic, precise, all at the same time. Glad to know that you are learning new stuff. I remember how we used to sit and gaze into space when we had to write a quick leave letter to the teacher, at school. :D

  18. and sharing your leanings too :) I take a lot of time while writing a mail... sometimes even ask people to cross check the tone.

  19. my experience at work:

    sometimes people add so many smileys and make the conversation informal, but some other times, the same people communicate in a very formal manner. always difficult to access their state of mind. :-| age difference and generation gap also plays a big role, and people can be very judgmental. we find ourselves in such a unique era. the world has gotten smaller, but, more often than not, the bonds between colleagues are so getting more loose.

  20. Makk,

    :-) Thanks


    Thank you; thats my routine everyday :)


    Exactly! thats what I dont want to do on blog. :) Thank you


    You should have known - guess work is a big NO NO :)

    Take care


    No! I havent yet done it on blog; I dont want to. This post was a mockery of what if I did that :)

    I learn a lot of new words reading your post. Very true; I have a post where I talk about odor and redolence to covey the apt feel/thought.

    Astute? Me? :-D Danke.


    :-) Most of us feel the same as you


    Maybe Blogger had some issue. Oh you know? To communicate is also to invite trouble :-D


    I am so happy reading your comment. Yeah, we remain silent without realizing thats also communicating.

    Its that balance we need to strike while closing the gap between the intended and the perceived.


    You said it :)

    Chowla sir,

    Thanks. and im glad that you started being regular. Thats nice.


    Yeah I remember this -

    Woman without her man is waste. How the guys and the women punctuated it :)


    Yup, it matters a lot :) Thank you; haa I will help as much as possible.

    But dont take my suggestions blindly :)


    True :)


    That I do. But you know what? :)


    I have gained so much without going to a business school :)
    Hahaha thats a nice idea!


    Yes, it matters how much you know that person. Meeting them at least once makes it much more easy.

    Destiny's child,

    :-) Yeah it has always been, but not to this extent :)


    :-) Yup! what better way :)


    Its a better to not use smileys. People tend to be judgmental; cant avoid. Be diplomatic :)

  21. How true! I always get stuck while communicating formally, must take some cue. Love your short but nice post.

  22. Human by nature has to communicate. Not being able to can make life unbearable, the reason prison is an effective punishment (for some).

  23. Ruprekha,

    :-) Thank you. Business communication needs extra care


    I agree. :)

  24. oh ho.. et tu..

    It was not guess work , It was a fact that i said but I started too casually .. with

    "I guess".. and then carried on explaining the reason ...



I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!