The Love Letter Effect (Nursing)

by Amber Vanderburg

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    00:00 In 1912, my great grandmother received a love letter from a gentleman named Oddis.

    00:09 The love letter read this..."Fall off the roof, fall down the ceiling, but don't fall in love with another feller." What makes love letters so romantic? Sure, there is an intention and a thoughtfulness behind each word.

    00:29 Even more so, there is time in between the correspondence for the thought of each word to sink in to the heart of the recipient.

    00:40 There is time in between each correspondence for emotion to build.

    00:46 There is time for the words to be pondered sincerely.

    00:51 This emotional build is highly desired in love letters. It is not as desired with emails.

    00:59 And this highlights another important element of effective communication.

    01:05 Too often, we spend too much of our focus on the message of the communication and not enough on the method of delivery.

    01:15 Consider the correspondence feedback loop in your communication delivery method.

    01:22 Some methods of communication are more synchronous and very quick such as in person, phone, and video chat.

    01:31 Other methods of communication are more asynchronous and slower such as email, text, and memo.

    01:40 There is no single best method of communication.

    01:44 There are definitely some meetings that should be emails.

    01:50 Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when you are determining the best method of communication.

    01:59 First, consider the emotion. An emotional message should be delivered in a fast feedback loop.

    02:08 If you deliver a highly emotional message through an asynchronous method of delivery, you will likely have a very emotional conversation later on.

    02:20 Low emotional messaging can be delivered in a slower feedback loop like an email or a text.

    02:29 Next, consider the complexity of the message.

    02:33 How many emails will it take going back and forth to solve a problem before it is important to alter your method of communication? A problem that could have taken 10 minutes to solve in an in-person meeting ended up taking 3-1/2 days through email.

    02:54 That is entire days more in which the problem was on your mind and unresolved.

    03:02 This practice repeated over and over can result in higher frustration, tension, anxiety, and stress.

    03:11 All of which could have been alleviated through different mediums of communication.

    03:18 Consider if your message will have follow-up questions, comments, or concerns.

    03:24 If you have a complex message, try to utilize faster feedback loops and then if you need documentation consider sending a follow-up email summarizing the conversation for your records.

    03:40 Generally, if communication takes more than 6-8 emails to solve, then I pick up the phone or physically speak with the person.

    03:49 I encourage teams to come up with an agreed upon standard of emails to phone call ratio to help hold everyone accountable to a less emotional and more effective method of communication.

    04:02 Some teams have agreed upon more or less but 6-8 emails is a general agreed upon total email count before the method of communication should be altered.

    04:14 Lastly, consider the person. For some people, a certain topic might be more emotional, complex, or personal.

    04:24 Consider the individual and make accommodations to best meet the person where they are currently.

    04:33 In this consideration, you might also want to consider how some methods of communication could mean different feedback speed for different people.

    04:43 For example, if you text me, that is an incredibly slow feedback loop.

    04:51 I am a very slow texter. For others on my team, that is a very fast feedback loop. So, consider the individual.

    05:01 Too often, we spend too much focus on the message of our communication and not enough on the method.

    05:10 So, here's what I want you to do. I want you to also consider the method of each communication.

    05:20 Try to alter your method of communication in consideration of emotion, complexity, and individuals for the most effective impact.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture The Love Letter Effect (Nursing) by Amber Vanderburg is from the course Communication in Healthcare (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Video chat
    2. Phone call
    3. In-person
    4. Email
    5. Text
    1. Video chat
    2. Phone call
    3. In-person
    4. Email
    5. Memo
    1. They result in a slower feedback loop.
    2. They are best for messages with low emotion.
    3. They include email and text.
    4. They include video chat and phone calls.
    5. They are best for highly complex messages.

    Author of lecture The Love Letter Effect (Nursing)

     Amber Vanderburg

    Amber Vanderburg

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