This article covers various methods of communication and when to use them in a business setting.

Instant Messages

These are good for quick conversation. Since they stick around, they are also good for any conversation you want to keep a record of. Use them for quick, real-time discussions.



These are great for discussions that involve the sharing of documents. They’re easy to forward, leave a paper trail, and can be saved for future reference. Emails are best for long explanations and reference material. Don’t use them for emotional discussions.


Phone Calls

These are much faster than typing, as long as you can refrain from social chit-chat. When an email conversation has more than three messages, save time by calling. If you’re discussing something emotional, call so that you can hear one another’s tone.


In-Person Meetings

These are best for highly emotional topics like hiring, firing, breaking up, proposing marriage, etc.