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Accommodating Your Audience’s Needs Worksheet

Directions: After reading the following communication dilemma, answer the questions in the middle column of the chart. Based on your answers to the questions, write the adjustments (column 3) that would need to be made when writing the memo to accommodate the audience (the new executive).

Dilemma: Gavin, a security officer, must write a memo to a new executive explaining that he can no longer allow her into the building without her security pass. She has been forgetting her security card ID, and Gavin has been letting her into the building without it. Gavin’s supervisor has told Gavin that he cannot continue letting her into the building without her ID. This is Gavin’s first job out of high school, and he likes it. He does not know the new executive very well, but he has observed that she is often in a hurry and impatient of routine.

To AccommodateAnswer These QuestionsMake These Adjustments
Knowledge LevelWhat does the new executive already know about the topic?What does the new executive need to know?What does the new executive want to know?
InterestsHow strong is the new executive’s interest in Gavin’s topic?Are the new executive’s priorities different from Gavin’s or the same as Gavin’s?
RoleIs the new executive’s role to make decisions, make suggestions, or implement action?What is the new executive’s job—administrative? technical? clerical? other?Is Gavin’s communication going to management, to a peer, or to a subordinate?
Cultural BackgroundWhat is the new executive’s cultural background?What are the new executive’s beliefs?Are the new executive’s beliefs different from Gavin’s or the same as Gavin’s?
PersonalityWhat kind of personality does the new executive have?

Accommodating Your Audience’s Needs Worksheet 1

Audience and Purpose