How do you like to communicate? How does your client/business partner/employee prefer to receive communications? Have you reach the pinnacle of the communication summit? If not, please keep reading!

Communication: when it works well, it is as beautiful as hearing your favorite band’s album or attending a well-rehearsed musical performance. However, when two parties (or groups) are not communicating in a proper fashion, challenges are likely to happen. Assumptions can be made, bad decisions are executed and chaos can result at the extreme.

Danny Cahill, a long-respected Executive Recruiter and owner of Hobson & Associates, shared this hierarchy of communication styles with the top recruiters in the United States recently at the Pinnacle Society meeting. Any creative license is purely my own! I encourage you to think P.E.T. when working through the hierarchy of communications. Remember to communicate in the manner that is best for the other party!

Phone – in this day and age, seems like we are talking on the phone less and less. Personally, I tend to do most of my calls on my cell phone in-between meetings or business commitments. According to Mr Cahill, use the phone to “persuade” someone. If you are passionate about your product or service, then the other party is going to hear it in your voice. I love to stand and pace when I am on an important call. My confidence goes up and my brain is fully engaged. Believe science and physiology experts might agree.

Email – Danny is an advocate of using electronic mail (email) to educate someone. You have the luxury of taking time to formulate your thoughts and build a cohesive argument. Of course, you want to use this tool when you have an existing relationship. “Cold calling over email” is far from ideal and will likely never be read by the recipient. Sometimes, simply sending an email to request time to speak via phone will save heartache (and a potential headache) both in the present and future!

Text – certainly a great method to get a quick response in 2016, especially from a Millennial!  However, according to Mr. Cahill, you should only send a text “to get action.” For instance, an answer to a “yes or no” question. Asking open ended questions via an SMS text may not elicit the intended response. Again, a great mechanism to schedule a time to speak “live on the phone” with your client, business associate, significant other or family member.

As I tell my teams (at Plumlee & Associates and in the Army Reserves), effective leadership comes down to effective communication and setting expectations. So if you are great communicator (in person, via phone and electronically), my hat is off to you. If you occasionally struggle like me, then it is my hope that you can leverage the P.E.T. principles to increase your personal, professional and overall life success!