How many times have we misread or misunderstood the sender’s message? How many times it does have happened that we could not actually understand the tone of the words? What would be my first reaction when I see a pop up of an email or a text message?
Post Pandemic people are connecting more onto Facebook than face to face. Its more about being into virtual world now. When we are in person, the tone of voice, our facial expressions and eye contact help us to interpret what we expect to convey. But when the communication goes virtual, we lose the context of the body language. Assumptions take the place of certainty in the context of the interpretation.
Ever before, while so many of us are working from home, students getting digitally connected to their schools and colleges, how quick are we in the response; how selective are we in our punctations, abbreviations and emojis. How correct do we set our email signatures? How selective are we in choosing words for the matter? Who are we including in the context by marking CC in the email?
This is our Digital Body Language.
In case of digital body language, you can probably check twice, what you are going to convey to the receiver end. But still it must match your message same as your physical body language.
Getting deeper, lets understand what will help you to land your digital message the way you intend. Eric Dhawan (Innovation Keynote Speaker) in her LinkedIn Learning Blogs (Innovative Tips) have elaborated three effective tips to match your intention to the digital message.
- Your Channel is the Key
There are various communication channels to communicate. Choosing the right one at the right time makes you wiser in the process. Factors to consider the right channel would be: –
Length: – If the message is big and you have ample of time, go for Email channel of communication. If it is short and urgent use text message.
Complex: – If it is an argument or a bigger idea to discuss than use medium such as phone or video chat. It can always give a fair feedback of reaction to your action without consuming time.
Familiar: – Here you have freedom to check the medium of communication the receiver is comfortable with as the person is familiar.
Discipline: – Maintain discipline in the approach. Same request in Email, text message and phone can only show how indiscipline we are in communication.
- Punctations and Emoji will give meaning to your words
Exclamation: – E- Language has been the part of our routine now. Number of exclamations do give different meanings to the receiver. one exclamation point conveys basic human warmth and energy. Two signal excitement. Three signal enthusiasm. Four signal sarcasm, wit, or even anger.
Full Stops (Periods): – Days before full stop was just a punctuation. It only denoted the completion of the sentence. But now it can signal even anger. It is putting meaning to the sentence with assumptions. You add a dot to dot, and it means an unfinish thought.
Question Mark: – You should always try to be a polite interrogator in the virtual context. Use your words that will not harm the assumptions. Same as periods One signals an honest question. Two signal confusion. Three signal and more is a frustration.
Emojis: – Emojis are one of the most important cues of the digital communication tone. Adding an emoji to “Nice to meet you” makes you more decent or sincere. No doubt, the thin like of separation between professional & personal talk will always differ in using Emojis. Still emojis are the best accentual.
- Be simple, Crisp, and Clear. Avoid confusion.
When you choose to communicate digitally as a working professional or even as a post graduate aspirant, ask yourself three questions before sending an email.
- Am I clear about my proposed thoughts?
- Did I include right people in the context?
- Am I simple and crisp in choosing my words?
When you are aware of your digital body language, you can make the communication as per your intention and ultimately productive.
That is exactly how Indira Institute of Management PGDM, Pune, works over every PGDM Aspirant to develop their digital body language with various practical assignments, Online MOCs, E-Learning Courses, Webinar Series, E- Projects and may more activities in the span of 2 years making their bond stronger and healthier in your professional as well as your personal connections. Digital body language is a modern corporate tool to keep the communication seamless, especially post pandemic, irrespective to the specialisation opt by the learner.
Connecting you with the same note of intention. Let us make this happen in the virtual community.
Asst. Professor, IIM PGDM