Kathy’s job as a receptionist for a high-end Las Vegas hotel requires that she communicates effectively to keep business running smoothly. As the receptionist she will often be the first person a customer interacts with, therefore she often represents the business. In many situations, Kathy may have to decide whether to communicate verbally or through writing (email, most likely). For the best communication, Kathy must learn the three-step writing process.
The writing process begins with planning or pre-writing and following writing tips. Kathy must mentally consider what the core of her message is and how to effectively communicate it. It will help Kathy to sum up her message or goal in one concise sentence. Planning involves a few steps. First, Kathy must analyze the situation to figure out what her message or purpose is, and who her audience is and how they will likely respond. Then Kathy must gather the information she needs to convey her message, the amount of research needed depends on how long and in-depth her final message is. Once she knows what she needs to say, Kathy must choose the best medium to communicate through, whether it’s verbal or written. Finally, Kathy must organize the information she has before she begins writing.
The second step of the writing process is supporting the planned message with writing. Kathy must explain her message in the most effective way. To support her message she may need to use facts or statistics, maybe regarding the hotel’s busyness, fame or history. What she needs to focus on as the company’s representative is being polite and adapting to her audience. Her writing should not be fancy or extreme, but rather strong and coherent.
The third and final step of the writing process is to revise and edit. It is an important step because people often find overlooked grammar and spelling mistakes and think of better ways to say certain things. This is how you turn mediocracy into mastery. In this step, Kathy has a last chance to check her clear her message is, and read it as objectively as possible. She will want to make sure the medium she is communicating through is clean and professional, and that her writing itself is clean and professional as well. She must read through the message at least a few times to check for errors, and when she is satisfied it is time for her to distribute it.
Once the message is effectively composed, Kathy must determine what the best medium of communication is to meet her message’s goal. She may choose to present her message orally or through writing. In the case of a receptionist, writing may often mean email, but it may also be up to Kathy to compose effective PowerPoint presentations, grant proposals, and letters. There are advantages and disadvantages to both oral and written communication, and Kathy must be able to decide what is best.
Written communication has many advantages. One is that it can be done in advance and Kathy would have as much time as she needed to phrase her sentences as mindfully as possible. Another benefit is that writing is recorded, so Kathy can always go back and use her writing for records, references and even in some cases for legal defense. A disadvantage of writing is that it may take a long time for her audience to respond, and she may not know if they understood her message as she intended.
Oral communication has advantages that also depend on the situation. One benefit is that when communicating orally, Kathy will immediately be able to see or hear the reaction of her audience and will be able to respond accordingly; there is no waiting time as with written communication. Questions can be answered and conclusions can be reached a lot more quickly, which can be a big advantage if Kathy’s message is time-dependent. Being able to answer quickly can also leave Kathy on the spot, which can be a disadvantage. Sometimes it is better to have time to sit and think about an answer, rather than being pressured to say the best thing in that quick moment.
As an important representative of the hotel and someone who will frequently be interacted with, Kathy must be able to decide what message to communicate. She must also be able to determine the best way to communicate that particular message and through which medium. Every situation is unique and will require a competent response, but it’s up to Kathy to be sensitive to the specificities of each situation’s needs.