Friday, November 30, 2012

Communication within your Corporation

  Communication is one of the most important things within your corporation. Knowing what is going on, and who is doing what will help you move your corporation forward. There are many forms of communication you can use, but I want to deal with written communication first. This will be your first form of communication, before Team speak, mumble, or any other Voice server.
  No discussion of communication is complete without mentioning the importance of effective writing skills. No matter what you do for the corporation, at some point you’re going to put words on electronic paper. You might need to write a memo, a report, or a policy change. What you say matters; how you say it can matter more. Although writing is a life skill, not just a job skill, many people turn into babbling bureaucrats when they write. There's no reason for you’re writing to be any more convoluted than talking. In fact, it can be easier to write because you focus just on your presentation. In fact, it's as easy as three steps that you can view as your AIM:
·         Audience: Who will read your message?
·         Intent: Why are you writing?
·         Message: What do you have to say?
  Make separate lists to answer each of these three questions. Then use your lists as an outline and begin writing. Write as though your audience is sitting in front of you and you are talking to them. Hold the slang, but stay conversational. Write enough content (your message) to cover your intent — no more. Be sure the vocabulary you choose is appropriate for your audience; steer clear of jargon.
  Don't let the process of writing intimidate you. It's just another form of communication. The best way to begin writing is to start with what's on your mind. Keep in mind that you don't have to start at the beginning. You can rearrange your blocks of words after you get them down on screen. Often one idea flows into the next once you get started, leading you through all of what you want to say. And remember, nobody gets it just right the first time. Writing is a process of editing and revision. If you don't like the way something sounds, change it.
Keep It Concise
  To keep your focus clear and clean, make sure every sentence contributes to your intent and message in a way that is relevant to your members. The poor yield from the mining operation last week was interesting, but the members receiving your mail just need to know the problems and the suggestions for remedying them. The typical member gives a mail about eight seconds to prove itself worthy of further interest and more time. Brevity counts!
EvE-mail Issues
  Ironically, it's the proliferation of electronic communication that most graphically illustrates the need to address writing skills. The speed with which we can zip messages across the EvE Universe makes us behave as though we must take every available shortcut to save even more time, circumventing the processes that effective writing requires. The instantaneous nature of EvE-mail makes us feel as though we have to read and write at the same speed. But we don't (and can't), and trying to is often a direct route to misunderstanding. The same guidelines for effective communication on paper apply in the paperless environment of cyberspace.
  Because e-mail is instantaneous, it's easy to fire off responses and comments without thinking about potential ramifications. The fact that most of us delete EvE-mail messages once we've read or sent them gives the impression that they are temporal communications, existing only in time just like conversations in person or over the phone (and just as private). Wrong! This is a common and potentially hazardous belief. Any mail you send can be forwarded to anyone in the game.
  If you wouldn't write something in a letter or a memo, don't write it in an EvE-mail message, either. With Mailing lists and the ability to forward, the message you send to your members “for your eyes only” could end up on hundreds of other computers. EvE-mail messages have embarrassed CEO’s and miners alike, and they are an increasing source of evidence in Diplomacy issues. That offhand comment you fire off in response to a question about someone's screw up could become an electronic ghost that returns to haunt you days or weeks from now.

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