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What Are Your Communication Preferences?

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Many of my friends have radically different communication styles than me. This is interesting to me because many of my friends are impossible to get on the phone. Some have over the last 10 years, emailed less than 10 times. Friends who would never use Twitter will text almost non-stop. With these thoughts in my head I decided to get clear on what my own personal preferences were. Naturally I made a list.

This got me thinking about my preferred modes of communication, both inbound and outbound. I used the Prioritizer to help me rank my items.

Sean’s Communication Preferences

  1. Face to face–  I appreciate quality time.
  2. Text– A quick way to let someone know you are thinking of them
  3. Email– I share a lot of links
  4. Tweet-quick, condensed way to converse and share
  5. Facebook-This is less of a hub for me
  6. FaceTime-I’m a fan
  7. Instant Message-This is the first line of defense against the phone call
  8. Phone-This is dead last. There are about 5 people I talk to on a regular basis, and it’s SIMPLY because we entertain each other during drive time.

There you have it, my communication preferences.

What about yours? What are your top 3 communication preferences and why?

  • I'm going to say my favorites are the following:

    1. Twitter . I don't feel a sense of urgency to reply, yet I'm on it enough that I typically reply fastest.
    2. Text. Although I miss some texts trying to go back and they're lost in the string of emails and texts in my BlackBerry.
    3. Skype. I say this because people can send me messages, but I love looking at the person I'm talking to, but can't always be out in the world getting face time.
    4. On the phone, but this is a small circle of precisely 7 people. And those calls are mostly 5 minutes or less. Two people are the exception. My Dad and one other person I can sit on the phone with for hours.
    5. Email. If it's too long to text and not a phone call, this is how to get it done.

    Face time is for weekends. The rest is dedicated to work, so if I lived closer to all my friends and didn't always have the three ninjas with me, I'd be better at it.

    Good post. You got the tiny little hamster moving that wheel in my head.

  • Thanks for the comment. That's a top 3 I haven't seen. Twitter as #1? Followed by text and Skype, which isn't even on my list.

  • Matty

    Obviously, depending on what you're engaged with at the moment – i.e. working versus leisure time – your communication preferences may swing wildly. Additionally, I spend a fair amount of time communicating in a second language, and my communication preferences change based on that, too. I don't like phone conversations in my L2, because it's harder to understand what's being said, and the other person can't read my body language/face if I want them to slow down without interrupting them.

    While I recognize the value of Twitter and Facebook posts, I never/rarely use them myself, preferring targeted, direct communications to one or two people (the exception being party or event invites). So I would say face-to-face followed by email are my number one choices in both languages, and then my list starts to fork from there. Face-to-Face, analog can't be beat for raw quality!

  • Old school Matty, old school. I like it. Good point on different preferences depending on engagement. I was shooting for overall preferences. Thanks for the comment.

  • Old school Matty, old school. I like it. Good point on different preferences depending on engagement. I was shooting for overall preferences. Thanks for the comment.

  • Ricardo Bueno

    I prefer text and email. Voicemail doesn't really work for me. I use Google Voice to transcribe messages to email but it's not all the great (it does get the job done though).

    Beyond that I really don't mind getting on the phone if I'm available. And if I'm not, I'll call you right back just as soon as I am.

  • Wow. A guy who actually returns calls these days? Impressive.

The Author

Sean Oliver

Sean Oliver is a management consultant in Seattle, WA