I tell my students that the primary purpose of workplace communication is to foster and maintain relationships. I usually tack on an inverse way of saying it – “The *other* primary purpose is to not screw up” – because that’s a helpful way of remembering the first formulation (which I wish I had coined). Other purposes (to persuade, to inform, to protect, to describe, to amuse, or to organize, for example) are subordinate to this primary one.
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(photo by Bob Basil)