The purpose of a written assignment is to send a message to the recipient with an intention of that person reading it, understanding the message and thereby responding to it. If the purpose of the written communication is not achieved, the important information will not be understood which can thereby result in a particular outcome not being achieved and even to sever loss. The assignment will mainly comprise on two important parts. It will first consist of a rhetorical survey which will mainly be pointing out the mistakes made during the written communication and the issues that arise out of it. The second part will mainly comprise of the recommendations that should be provided to the writer so that similar incidences do not occur in the future.
The situation took place when I was a project leader in my internship months in XYZ Company. I had a team of ten members whom I used to meet every morning before beginning the day at office and distribute that day’s work by pointing out their names and assigning their duties. On the particular morning, I had to take day off and for that the duty was assigned to another project leader who was a working in a separate branch in other part of the city. Instead of talking with my teammates, he chose to write a mail to the team, assigning them of their duties.
The triggering event took place when the new project lead sent a very long mail with a large number of details of the work they had to conduct those them. Not only that, it was found that the job segmentation that I used to do for my teammates were not done properly. A huge list of work was noted down and that too was down in a clumsy manner. It was very long mail and the important information was scattered all throughout. Moreover in place of sending the assigned duties to each member, it was sent to a single member of the team in a strict tone which affected the emotions of the workers and was asked to circulate.
The actor identified in the event was the project leader of the other branch and my teammates. The primary audience was the member of the team who got the mail from the other project lead. The secondary audience was the other nine members of the team whom the first member would be circulating the information. Additional secondary audience may be those members whom my team members would approach to complete the assigned tasks like the consumers, or the store heads, franchise heads, accountants, other managers and others.
The primary goal of the mail was to make the team members work together for making the every stakeholder aware of the new products which are being launched for limited edition for the Christmas sales. The project lead was to assign different duties to different members where one of them would be handling the meetings with the accounts departments, the other two team members would be working on the data collections and sales figures of the products sold in the last week, another who would be tackling the meetings with franchise holders who would be described about the new products and services which the company is launching and others. However, instead of assigning different members of different duties, he wrote a mail clumsily of the activities to be done. He wrote a very long mail where the information was lost and he did not refer to any members while writing the mail.
Audience dynamics was not achieved as the project lead could not successfully convey the message properly and the entire incident did not have a proper outcome. The tone of the email was highly strict and affected the go of the team members. The informal environment in maintain in my team made them feel that the new project lead was unnecessarily strict and demanding. The email could not help them understand their job role and they were not able to understand how to proceed with the work individually. The main information was not being able to be adopted by the members in their work as they were not getting their role clarity.
The team members were quite uncomfortable with their project lead as the communication happened from another office and they had never seen the project lead before. Therefore they were quite concerned about how the new project lead would react about their inefficiency to follow his instructions. Therefore, out of fear to lose their self esteem and make them look inefficient in front of those project leaders, they responded with a mail where they misinformed him that they had entirely understood the entire work and the work would be completed within time.
Critical reflection and recommendations:
Written communication needs to be followed by a number of rules to make the information reach the recipient properly. Reaching the information is not enough as the information should be written in way so that it can be properly understood, ever information followed and the main points are properly noted (Holtbrugge et al. 2013). The first problem found in the mail was found that it was unnecessarily clumsy. Researchers are of the opinion that when certain instructions of works needed to be given to recipients, it should be done in the form of bullets. Human brains can process the latter in better ways than a long page of information written in scattered ways (Bergila et al., 2013).
Secondly, the project lead knew that it is a team of ten members who are interns and are not much experienced. Researchers therefore also say that, the sender should rightly address the recipient properly so that they can understand what was expected from them (Argenti, 2015). If the work was properly segregated and separately mailed to the team members or even if the mail was written with separate members being mentioned about their work proper outcomes would have taken place (Grace et al., 2015).
The third issue which was also noticed was the tone of the mail. As the project lead was given the work of assigning jobs to the team members, he should have first introduced himself in the mail with informal tone before directly entering into responsibility of assigning works. The tone of the mail seemed to be highly strict for the team members. Therefore they could not gather courage to mail him back for reconfirmation or clarifying any issues that they were facing (Bovee, Thill & Raina, 2016). Rather, out of fear, they responded with a positive reply which actually resulted in miscommunication issue. The work outcomes were not achieved and it led to loss of productivity for the entire team.
From the entire scenario, it was seen that an improper email resulted not only affecting the morale of the employees and made them confused about their role but resulted in complete loss of the productivity of the team. Therefore every working professional should develop proper communication skills so that different issues can be avoided and productivity is not hampered.
Argenti, P. A. (2015). Corporate communication. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Nickerson, C., & Planken, B. (2013). What is business discourse?. In Business Discourse (pp. 3-44). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Bovee, C. L., Thill, J. V., & Raina, R. L. (2016). Business communication today. Pearson Education India.
Grace, A., Kemp, N., Martin, F. H., & Parrila, R. (2015). Undergraduates’ attitudes to text messaging language use and intrusions of textisms into formal writing. new media & society, 17(5), 792-809.
Holtbr?gge, D., Weldon, A., & Rogers, H. (2013). Cultural determinants of email communication styles. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 13(1), 89-110