By Leroy Cook

Perfect communication is two people talking face-to-face without external distractions. Unfortunately, communicating something important to large numbers of people is not practical two at a time and face-to-face so other methods like telephone, written and digital communications are used. The degree of perfection in all other forms of communication goes downhill from the one on one, face-to-face method.

Written communication is superior to verbal communication in the permanency of the actual words used but it is inferior in other ways. When it is delivered to and read by the recipient it is good communication except much of the writers intent can not be conveyed with words alone. Major elements of communication in addition to the words, are tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and “vibes”.  Telephone communication enables the receiver to hear tone of voice and voice inflections but variations in the hearing ability of the receiver and  audio distortion during transmission can affect the original message. Even if the receiver hears and interprets the sent message accurately, the message is subject to the receiver’s memory and ability to re-convey it either verbally or in writing.

Historically, a disadvantage of written communication was the time it took to write or type the message and send or deliver it to the receiver. Email and other forms of digital communication have radically reduced that problem but have created another problem.

One sided email messages, those sent and but not acknowledged and the plethora of new apps, social media services and systems have made good clear communication almost as rare as truth in advertising. The cost of television air time is high so the weather man or woman, wanting to tell everyone about their weather; talks at machine gun speed. As the speed of verbal communication increases, its clarity decreases.

Good communication involves many things including a clear message, a sender, a receiver and a way for the sender to know the message was received. When something is posted on a blog or social media site it is like tacking a written note up on millions of utility poles around the world. If no one happens to read the note on the pole, no communication has occurred. Even using email does not result in good communication as often as most people think it does. With the quantity of messages and digital material we receive online, many people have gotten out of the habit of responding to, acknowledging or even reading thoroughly received messages, even important ones.

Two essential elements of a valid and enforceable contract are a meeting of the minds and consideration. Neither of those occur using email unless the message received is acknowledged by the recipient. A message sent by email or posted on social media without some form of acknowledgment from the recipient does not qualify as communication. It is just digital noise.

My writing could turn out to be like most gold-mining ventures where a great deal of rocks and dirt have to be moved out of the way to find even a speck of gold.  I believe my 78 years (revised as of April 29, 2020 to 81 years) of experience have provided me with a few specks of gold to pass on.

Thanks for reading this far. It has taken a lot of trial and error but I have finally found how to let readers post a comment. Please at least post a question or a few words. It would be great to see someone has gotten a speck of value from what is written but any words will be helpful.  I believe you have to enter your email address and I assure you it won’t be used for anything except this blog but if you don’t want to to that, you can send me a short note by email or text ( or 425-559-3689) to let me know you have read some of the material at CQ synergy.  Being told about typos, spelling or grammatical errors, or items needing further clarification are appreciated. Knowing someone else is at least looking for those specks of gold (maybe fools gold) is the motivation I need to keep digging in my memory for them and doing my best to record them without too many “tailings” to be shoveled through. (Written June 22, 2017) Revised January 8, 2018 and April 29, 2020.

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