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Chapter 22. Knowing Your Communication Media > Written Communication - Pg. 235

Knowing Your Communication Media 235 You aren't bound by formal communication rules, and you can work quickly provided both parties are willing and able to communicate positively. Also, because both parties are physically able to see each other, that helps develop understanding about emotional states, because body language (smiles, frowns, and so on) can be seen immediately. However, with those advantages come some problems. When emotions run high and people aren't in control of their expressions and behavior, there is a tendency to have very heated and emotional conversations because face-to-face communication is so fast and so spontaneous. That's both a good thing and a bad thing. It means some face-to-face conversations can be uncomfortable, until the emotions cool down. The good thing is that the release of that emotion can be worked through. Very few highly charged emotional situations are resolved via an exchange of letters, but they can be resolved face-to-face. Also, because of the fast pace of face-to-face communication, people don't always hear everything that's said, so understanding can be a problem. You can't re-hear something the other person said. It's said, then it's gone. So, when is face-to-face a good choice? When issues are very complex and understanding of details is critical, face-to-face should be aug- mented by some written material. Ideally, precede the conversation with a written document that contains an agenda. Both parties should prepare by reading the document (when that's possible). From the Manager's Desk