Communication is one of the human basic needs; each of us understands and be understood around people and in society settings through communication. Sometimes we speak instinctively, such as crying out for help. Other times we carefully think over before speak out, such as when we are at work.

With the development of computer and internet technology, companies rely more and more on emails to connect with clients and colleagues. Sometimes, people tend to use emails or online IMs even though they sit right in the next cubicle. Email is helpful in terms of getting speedy response and long-distance or cross time zone connections, however, it can also be misinterpreted easily when there is a typo or edit error, or even a different font color would make recipients misunderstand because the color might be “culturally inappropriate”. This is what we call “technology overload in communication”

Therefore, vocal conversation is still the most effective way to exchange ideas and achieve agreement over conversation. In many social settings, a face-to-face will be helpful as we all know that body gestures and facial expressions help to digest and control the conversation. When a face-to-face is not possible (as we become more and more global), a phone call is always effective because the grammatical mood can help the two sides to understand and respond.

Yet, time-zone and language can be challenges when we communicate with people from different countries and with various cultural backgrounds. It never gets easy, effective workplace communication takes quite a lot of effort. Choosing the right words, listening/reading with our minds, and getting each other’s’ ideas across are skills that we all need to practice.