The following are what I learnt from doing research and explaining my research to others.
- When communicating about a big decision that involves complex emotions, do it in person. Talking in person allows you to be mindful of each others’ emotions and guide the conversation to the most effective direction.
- When writing a professional email, make them short and to-the-point. State your requests explicitly.
- Acknowledge the differences in communication styles between men and women. Men are usually a lot more direct and less considerate about others’ feelings. But being considerate about others’ feelings can go too far, in which case the effectiveness of communication is compromised.
- When you want feedback on a particular idea, make sure you know what exact questions you have and what you need to explain so that others are on the same page. Guide your feedback around your goal, and harvest small critiques along the way.
- When you can ask a question by email, do not schedule a meeting. Meetings are the best for organic, open-ended discussions.