“Back-and-forth communication” is a frequent occurrence, especially in business. You always need to keep emailing someone over and over until something is sorted. This article will look at some of the best words to describe this idea.
Which Words Can Describe “Back-and-Forth Communication”?
There are some great words we can use to describe this idea. Why not try one of the following:
- Repeat messages
- Catch up
The preferred version is “dialogue.” It works well because it shows that two or more parties are communicating with each other. Often, in a dialogue, it’s expected that multiple messages will be sent and received until all the relevant pieces of information have been conveyed.
“Dialogue” means that you are communicating with one or more parties and expecting the talks between you to continue for a while. There will be a lot of sent and received messages, which is why this word works really well.
The definition of “dialogue,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “formal talks between opposing countries, political groups, etc.”
- I need you to open a dialogue with the support staff. It’s about our IT systems.
- Can you start a dialogue on this matter for me? I think it’ll help with the business if you do.
- I need you to get a dialogue going with our most valuable customers about some of these changes!
“Discussion” works when we want to show that multiple parties are involved in discussing things. There can be a lot of repeated messages or things that have to be reiterated between the parties, which is why it makes for such a good synonym.
The definition of “discussion,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “the activity in which people talk about something and tell each other their ideas or opinions.”
- We need to have a discussion about this. Do you have the time to talk about it now?
- I’ve opened a discussion thread via email with you. I would appreciate it if you could reply to it right away.
- The discussions are ongoing, but we’ll be sure to come to some kind of agreement soon.
“Correspondence” works when we want to show that someone is delivering a message to another person. It’s another great formal choice that shows that two or more parties are having a level of discussion or communication between them.
The definition of “correspondence,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “the action of writing, receiving, and reading letters, especially between two people.”
- I need you to update me with some correspondence if you have the time.
- These correspondences are no good for me. You need to try harder.
- What can you correspond about this? I need more information.
“Communication” is a great way of showing that multiple messages are sent. We can drop “back-and-forth” from the original phrase and still get most of the meaning across.
It’s understood that when we “communicate,” multiple messages will be sent to and from the participating parties. Therefore, it still implies “back-and-forth” without actually saying it.
The definition of “communication,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a message, letter, or announcement.”
- The communications have fallen down, and we need to find a way to update them.
- Let’s have a few more topics of communication to go over for the next meeting, okay?
- I need to talk more about this. The communication channels are designed for this reason.
“Consultation” works to show that someone is delivering an important update or message to another party. We usually expect a lot of back-and-forths when in the middle of a consultation, which is why it’s a great synonym for this case.
The definition of “consultation,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a meeting to discuss something or to get advice.”
- I need to have more consultation with my staff before making any decisions like this.
- You shouldn’t have been a part of this consultation. However, now that you are, I think you should share your views.
- What do you make of the consultation? Do you think it’s a waste of business resources?
“Dispatch” works when we want to show that a message has been sent from one party to another. Usually, a secondary message is expected and typically received from the party who sent the original one.
Since a reply is always expected, “dispatch” works well to show that there is some level of back-and-forth between two parties.
The definition of “dispatch,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to send something, especially goods or a message, somewhere for a particular purpose.”
- I need you to dispatch a couple of updates to them if you think you can handle that.
- Can we dispatch them about this? I think it’s important that they know what’s going on.
- Let’s not discuss anymore about the dispatched information. It’s too valuable to us.
“Missive” works when we want to use a really formal word to talk about an email. It’s old-fashioned, so it’s not particularly common today, but it works well and shows that you have a great understanding of some more outdated English words.
Some people might think you’re a bit pretentious if you do choose to use “missive” in place of “back-and-forth communication.” However, the ultimate choice is up to you, so if you like how it sounds, you may use it.
The definition of “missive,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “an official, formal, or long letter.”
- Have you had a look at this missive lately? It’s quite bad.
- I don’t like how frequent the missive between us is. I think we should stop them.
- Let’s not discuss how often we repeat these missives. It’s bad for business.
“Repeat messages” works well to show that multiple messages are being sent between two or more parties. We can use it to show a constant stream of communication, which might help more of the parties understand what is going on.
Typically, we would repeat messages when we know there is more to say. This can include simple updates that might provide slightly more information or something else that’s along those lines.
The definition of “message,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a short piece of information that you give to a person when you cannot speak to them directly.”
- You need to send them repeat messages until you get the point across, okay?
- The repeat messages are very important to us. We really appreciate you keeping us informed.
- Let’s talk about all these repeat messages. They aren’t great and keep everyone far too busy, so we’re removing them.
“Banter” is a more informal word we can use compared to the others. It works well to show that two people are having insincere discussions with each other, though there are often many back-and-forths still present between them.
The definition of “banter,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “conversation that is funny and not serious.”
- I think they share too much banter with each other! However, that’s why they’re so close.
- That’s the kind of banter I was looking for! Thank you for that!
- You’re always trying to one-up me on this banter business, aren’t you?
“Catch up” is a great verb choice for us when we plan on exchanging multiple messages with someone. It’s much more informal than some of the other options, which is why it ranks at the bottom of the list. However, it’s still good for this case.
If you want to use “catch up,” it means that you are getting to know what’s happened in your friends’ lives in the last few weeks or months that you might not have seen them.
The definition of “catch up,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to talk with someone you know in order to exchange news or information.”
- I think we should put forward a catch-up communication to make sure we know what’s going on around here.
- We need to catch up. I’m sure there are plenty of things that you want to talk to me about, right?
- Let’s catch up in the coming days. It’s about time that we got a chance to talk!
What Does “Back-and-Forth Communication” Mean?
“Back-and-forth communication” is what happens when emails or messages are sent repeatedly between two parties. Often, the original email will not get enough information or will require updates, which is why more need to be sent.
While we all like to try and get as much information in our emails as possible, sometimes this isn’t possible. Sometimes, we might be waiting on more information before we can do anything else.
When that information finally comes our way, we might find it necessary to email the same person we did before with an update. Likewise, they might then thank us for the update and give us some more information.
This back-and-forth communication can keep going on until it’s no longer relevant. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it means you will have to be sending a lot of messages to someone.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.