1. In general, the direct approach is fine when the audience will be receptive: eager, interested, pleased, or even neutral. If they will be resistant to the message-displeased, disinterested, or unwilling-one would generally have better results with the indirect approach. One has to bear mind, however, that each message is unique. Managers cannot solve all of their communications problems with a simple formula.
If youre sending bad news to outsiders, for example, an indirect approach (with main idea being withheld) is probably the best one to choose. On the other hand, you might want to get directly to the point in a memo to an associate, even if your message is unpleasant. The direct approach might also bet he best choice for long messages, regardless of the audiences attitude, because delaying the main idea could cause confusion and frustration. 2. I believe, that in the process of strategizing the best way to communicate information style, two things should matter the most, namely, style and tone. Style is the way you use words to achieve a certain tone, or overall impression.
You can vary your style-your sentence structure and vocabulary-to sound forceful or passive, personal or impersonal, colorful or colorless. The right choice depends on the nature of your message and your relationship with the person to whom the message is addressed. Your use of language is one of your credentials, a badge that identifies you as being a member of a particular group. Therefore, one has to make his style clear, concise and grammatically correct, and also try to make it conform to the norms of that persons group.
Every organization has its own stylistic conventions, and man occupational groups share a particular vocabulary. That is why, before you even begin giving the message, you have to focus on the role youre playing, your purpose, the probable reaction of your audience. All these elements subconsciously influence tone of the person that is giving the message. 3. Generally, use of passive verbs makes sentences longer and de 0 emphasizes the subject.
Active verbs produce shorter, stronger sentences. However, using passive voice makes sense in some situations. For example, when you want to be diplomatic in pointing out a problem or error of some kind, you might say, The shipment was lost as opposed to You lost the shipment. In this case, the passive version seems less like an accusation; the emphasis is on the problem of the lost shipment rather than on the person responsible for hate loss. Similarly, if you want to point out whats being done without taking or attributing either the credit or the blame, you might say something like The production line is being analyzed to determine the source of problems. Passive voice is also useful when you are trying to avoid personal pronouns and create an objective tone.
For example, in a formal report, you might say, Criteria have been established for evaluating capital expenditures. 4. One may be tempted to blurt out an unpleasant message in the most direct and unvarnished terms, with the excuse that it is just the way of being businesslike or that the audience is too far away or unimportant to matter. But bluntness is, in many cases, more expedient than practical.
The first and last sections of bad-news message make the biggest impression. For example, lets say we have the situation with the business proposal refusal. If the writer states his refusal in the first sentences of the letter, his reader might never bother to go on to the reasons or might be in the wrong frame of mind to consider them. By putting the explanation before the refusal, a good writer focuses attention on the reasons.
The indirect plan of message organization should appear neither manipulative nor unethical. As long as you can be honest and reasonably brief, youre better off to open a bad-news message with a neutral point and put the negative information after the explanation. Then if you can close with something fairly positive, youre likely to leave the audience feeling okay-not great but not hostile either.