Article by Mark Gwilliam
How Skype has changed the way we communicateCommunication is the act of transmitting thoughts, opinions, ideas, and information (the message) from one person (the communicator) to another (the receiver). It is a process that requires a medium.
Traditional communication mediumTraditionally, business management communicated with employees through written memoranda. The boss would dictate or type the message, make copies of the memo and distribute the same to the employees.
This day and age, however, a person reads, hears and sees so much that his mind is simply incapable of retaining every piece of information that it has received. Among the information that a human being receives, written messages have the least chance of being retained. This means that written memos can be very ineffective communication media.
Memos, aside from the fact that the messages they contain do not usually get retained, are also restrictive means of communication. It is so formal that it restricts spontaneous and honest reactions. It also does not facilitate interaction; it’s mainly used for top-down communication.
This does not bode well for people in lower levels; such employees couldn’t feel empowered and efficacious if their ideas, thoughts and opinions can’t even get heard in their business organisation. The business also loses out since it couldn’t benefit from its people’s unique talents, skills and varying points of view; these could have been tapped had the business created a looping communication and feedback channel.
The Skype communication mediumSkype is a welcome alternative to traditional modes of communication. It is an Internet Protocol or IP-based communication method that allows people who have a computer, an internet connection and the Skype client software – which can be downloaded for free – to communicate with one another. Skype also makes use of various communication media: text, graphics, sounds, and video.
The above qualities of the Skype communication channels have brought about three major changes to the way we communicate:
* We retain much more information.Multimedia messages – those with both visual and aural elements – are much more easily retained than mere visual or mere aural messages. Skype is fully capable of multimedia communication; in fact, Skype offers video calling for free. Skype is thus a potentially effective medium for business communication.
* Employees and team members feel much more empowered.Skype is not a top-down communication channel. It offers free conference calls. Thus nine people can communicate and interact simultaneously online. This way, one person’s message gets transmitted to a lot of people – who can immediately react and give the original communicator their feedback. Thus, communication channels are open between one user and each of the other participants in the conference.
Multi-channel communication empowers team members and employees to comment, suggest and – overall – improve on other people’s ideas and suggestions. A company that uses Skype communication tools is thus able to tap into a wealthy reserve of creative talent and skill.
* Businesses go global -easily and inexpensively.Skype calling, messaging, video calling, and call conferencing are offered for free. Thus, businesses have found an easy and inexpensive way of expanding globally and communicate with independent contactors abroad, mobile employees and international clients.
Indeed, Skype is effective, is empowering; makes people more responsive and interactive, has a wide reach, and is free. Definitely, it is one communication tool that you should look into. Take a look at http://www.skype.com