I want this work by 5pm today
Reply each student 150 words each
WEEK 3 #1
When I entered the workplace there was no widespread use of the internet or email. Companies still had secretaries who typed memos and a typing center for client pitches and presentations. Soon came the proliferation of the internet, email, and texting. In the technology age, more and more communication is electronic and not face-to-face. Now we can reach people an instant. Instead of it taking 2-3 days to deliver a presentation to a client, it only takes 2-3 seconds. Decisions can now be reached much quicker than ever before. It saved money on postage. It worked well until other modes of technology entered the building. Suddenly we have smartphones and people are texting each other as the primary mode of communication. Then it becomes apparent that in electronic communication, tone, physical cues, and verbal communication are lost. The transmission of the message is dictated by the interpretation of the receiver. When typed messages are misunderstood, they can fall into a behavior known as cyber incivility (Heischman, Nagy & Settler, 2019). This is characterized by situations where the printed statement comes across much harsher than it would if spoken face-to-face. The spoken word is accompanied by facial expressions and body language which helps give the receiver a frame of reference on intent. Much productivity time is lost when working relationships break down due to cyber incivility.
Another development is the use of a platform called Slack, which functions like Facebook for the office. You interact with it much like you would social media, however, it is being used to correspond about work. Often, very important conversations and documents are being transacted via this medium which is great for visibility, but things get lost as the timeline progresses. So while it works well for millennials because they grew up on social media, it’s not practical for certain business uses.
Technology in the workplace has had a mainly positive impact on communication and the examples are numerous. Technology has allowed us to overcome geographical barriers. We can use it to send messages to anyone in the world at any time instantly. We are no longer limited to collaborating with the person who sits next door, we can engage with disparate groups of people all around the world whenever necessary.
Technology-based communication has removed the office walls from defining productivity. We can work from anywhere, anytime and still maintain a connection to our managers and each other. Workers are free to travel, care for family or just remain in the comfort of their home while still contributing to the workforce.
Technology has brought with it an expansion of the options for sharing information. We can video conference, tweet, email, post a message on the corporate intranet, post a job to LinkedIn and ‘shout out’ to your company on Facebook. However, there are challenges to this new world. How we use technology to maintain its positive influence is an informed and appropriate marriage of message and mode. Communication that is text-based and abbreviated will not carry with it the nuances that come with in-person delivery. While emoticons and profile pics are helpful in this regard, there are times when messages must be delivered in person or with a visual representation of the sender (ie video) to ensure the recipient receives the information as intended. Examples of this are crucial conversations around performance feedback, job elimination or major negative changes to the company. Here, the nonverbal feedback establishes trust and empathy, which is good both personally and professionally.
Technology is a messaging tool, not a single solution. Too often, we fear the change that technology brings instead of acknowledging its place in the patterns of communication. We are in the early stages of learning how best to use technology to communicate in the workplace but have every confidence that as we mature, we will overcome its challenges.
Week 3 DQ 2
I am a visual learner – meaning, I absorb information better when I hear it explained and see an accompanying, relevant example. According to Larson (2011), there are three main benefits to presenting information visually to the message receiver – Immediacy, Simplicity, and Flexibility. Visual aids can bring complicated concepts to life by adding motion, color, and context. The example Larson (2011) provides is that architects present ideas in visual blueprints that send the information to buyers and builders in a clean, concrete way. Finally, pictures bridge the divide that can exist with language or other cultural barriers. No matter what language you speak, there are symbols that are universally understood and can be used to tell a story. Everyone knows where to locate the restrooms!
As a portfolio manager in my organization, I am required to produce monthly status reports. Initially, when I joined this company in my role, the group was producing reports that were largely text-based lists and explanations. These reports are meant to be consumed by all levels – from the CEO to the project sponsor and team members. As such, there needed to be the right amount of detail presented in a way that was easy to consume and take action on.
To that end, I developed a more visual status report template that focused on 5 key areas – general project information, key milestones achieved, workstream status, risks and issues, and KPIs. I then broke the sections into squares that draw the eye to each section of the report allowing the reviewer to consume the data methodically without being distracted by the other sections. I also color-coded the status report so you can easily and quickly find the trouble areas, the explanation, and the mitigation plans in one place. We went from long sentences to short, bulleted lists and we abbreviated frequently used words to create a cleaner presentation with more white space.
The result is consistent presentation across projects and, more importantly, a valuable tool that is used and referenced as a primary project artifact.
In my line of work, I am continually creating reports and presentations that speak to technical concepts and involve a lot of numbers and statistics. I generate a monthly report that shows share of market, market indices, and target market coverage. While I pull the raw data from various databases and organize in pivot tables, this is not “user-friendly” for most. In my position, we are considered the story-tellers of data used for advertising purposes. As children, our favorite part of the bedtime story was the pictures, so I use a lot of graphs to tell that story. I use pie charts to depict share, line graphs to show growth and bar graphs to show composition and relation to other metrics. Use of these visual aids help to convey informative messages (Baack, 2012)
When data is presented in a tabular format, it requires the reader to follow each number, possibly do some computations in their head and arrive at conclusions from the data by breaking down each part of the data presented. When graphs are used with color coding and shapes, conclusions can be drawn much faster. One can determine by quick inspection that a labeled portion of a pie chart is greater than all the others (Carter, 1947).
The final layer to my task in telling a story is knowing my audience (Baack 2012). I am delivering data to salespeople who do not have a lot of time to spend sorting through the data or have short attention spans, so they need quick snapshots. The use of visuals helps me keep it simple.
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I want this work by 5pm today was first posted on April 25, 2019 at 6:35 pm.
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