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Friday 19 October 2012

The place time continuum of communication

Each partnership is different, with its own problems and goals and a unique mix of partners and relationships through which it seeks to address them.

Key to how effectively your partnership achieves its goals is its approach to communication. If your partnership thinks carefully about how it communicates with its various partners and stakeholders, tailoring its approach to its specific context and the needs of all involved, it is more likely to achieve success. 

The following 'Place/Time Continuum' of communication can help your partnership analyse its approach to communication and create a communication strategy suited to its (and its partners' and stakeholders') needs:

  • Same time and same place: face to face communication and meetings, etc.
  • Same time and different place: telephone calls, conference calls, video conferencing, Internet chat, etc.
  • Different time and same place: whiteboards, flip charts, notice boards, etc.
  • Different time and different place: memos, letters, reports, e-mail, etc.

What is the current mix and balance of your partnership's approach to communication? Does it meet the needs of partners and stakeholders? Do some partners find certain modes of communication more difficult than others? Do partner and stakeholder circumstances and environments make some types of communication problematical? Which types of communications, or mix of communications, would acknowledge these circumstances most effectively? Which types of communication would be most attractive and accessible to your partners and stakeholders?

By explicitly analysing and discussing your partnership's approaches to communication, agreeing how they could be enhanced and then creating a jointly owned communication strategy, your partnership will take a significant step towards enhancing its effectiveness and achieving its goals.

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