Good communication is an important component of every relationship.

There are more ways to communicate today than ever before. These include traditional forms like meeting in person, talking on the telephone or sending an email.

Now we must include newer forms of communication like texting and social media messaging.

The medium you chose to communicate with can have a huge impact on how effective your communication will be. If you choose the wrong form, it can destroy a good relationship. I know, because it just happened to me.

For example, when you meet with someone face-to-face, you hear their words, see their body language and feel their emotion.

Conversely, when you choose to communicate via text, all of those sensory inputs are lost. By communicating via text, you force the receiver to determine the tone of your message.

Because they cannot hear your words or sense your emotion, they may very well jump to the wrong conclusion or misinterpret your message entirely.

If this happens, they may get defensive and lash out a quick response. You may be surprised by the response, and become defensive yourself.

The text conversation might spiral out of control and your entire relationship could be in jeopardy.

It is extremely important to choose the appropriate medium of communication, based on the conversation itself.

A good rule of thumb is this: If you cannot end your statement with a sincere and heartfelt “thank you,” do not communicate that message in writing.

These are the types of conversations that can spiral out of control. These are the conversations that are best handled in person, or at least on the telephone.

Give yourself every opportunity to make your important conversations effective. Why risk ruining a perfectly good relationship by choosing the wrong medium of communication?

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.