Why Do We Communicate or Collaborate?

March 20, 2007 at 10:59 am | Posted in collaboration, communication | Leave a comment

I performed an interesting experiment the other day.  In preparing for a presentation on which communication and collaboration tools should be used in different cases, I decided to explore why businesspeople communicate.  I’m not sure if I’m a representative sample of this audience, but I was conveniently available.  I randomly trolled my emails (sent and received) and came up with a set of purposes that seems to encompass all the emails I send and receive from a business point of view (might have to alter this for personal use).  They include:

  • File
  • CYA
  • Connect
  • Validate
  • Inform
  • Confirm
  • Feed back
  • Negotiate
  • Author
  • Brainstorm
  • Swarm

Email seems to be involved from CYA to Negotiate. IM has a narrower scope, gong from connect to confirm. Collaborative workspaces span a broad range that includes filing and everything from connect to feed back.

Connect and validate encompass the touchy-feely part of this spectrum and encompass most of the communications that involve simple reaching out (“Just wanted to touch base and say hello”=connect) or pat someone on the back (“Hang in there! You’re doing a great job”=validate).

I’d be interested to hear from readers of this blog to see if there are communications or collaboration that involves technology and doesn’t fit into one of these categories.


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