Misunderstandings are rampant in today’s virtual workplaces. And while poor communication habits may feel inevitable with colleagues, it can often come at the cost of a team’s potential to succeed. We should always strive to engage with clarity and empathy, especially as we come to rely more on remote work and digital communication. A good first step to improving our habits and becoming better team members? Re-learning what it means to read carefully and write clearly.
Digital reading and writing skills are critical for anyone who wants to develop and maintain strong relationships with their colleagues, both current and prospective…
In our digital world, our screens filter out the non-verbal signals and cues that make up 60 to 80 percent of face-to-face communication, forcing us to adapt the emotional logic of computers. We’re rendered cue-less.
By way of compensation, our communication style relies on punctuation for impact. In an effort to infuse our texts with tone and to clarify our feelings, we might use exclamation marks, periods, or ellipsis. But instead of clarity, sometimes our reliance on punctuation can generate more confusion because each of the three options carries a different — and infinitesimally subtle — meaning.
Take Jack, a…
Have you ever emailed someone only for them not to reply for days, but then you see them post on social media? Your initial thought is, “If they have time to post a photo on Instagram, then they have time to email me back.” As time goes by you wonder, “What if I did something to upset them?” So you think back to your latest digital communication and try to guess why they are “ghosting” you.
Today’s communication channels, which encourage speed and immediacy, can create misunderstandings, broken commitments and annoying feelings of disrespect. When a workplace is burdened with missed, rushed or criss-crossing messages, collaboration is hindered, leading to widespread inaction or worse, chaos.
Tom emails his boss, “Do you want to speak Wednesday or Thursday?
His boss responds, “Yes.”
When does Tom’s boss want to meet? We don’t know, and neither does Tom.
The average office worker receives 121 emails and responds to over 61 emails per day.
Given the sheer magnitude of messages we receive daily, coupled with expectations for speedy communication, it…
In 2017, Paige Lee Jones (@paigeleejones) aired her biggest pet peeves on Twitter: “Got an ‘out of office for the holidays’ email after responding to a requested URGENT email within 4 minutes.”
When we speak face-to-face or on the phone, it takes us an average of just 200 milliseconds (that’s 0.2 of a second) to respond to another person. It’s also clear to most of us when a conversation is over — we’ve walked away or hung up the phone.
Can you believe that even after a year of working remotely and virtual meetings nearly every video call is still full of “oops sorry no you go” and “can you hear me?!” or weird echos and delays you can’t understand?
Is it any wonder why many of us are struggling from “Zoom fatigue” and often leave meetings more confused than when they started?
Even as some start to return to working in an office, there is no doubt that virtual meetings are here to stay — long gone are the days of traveling across the city for a 30-minute meeting.
A lack of respect can turn small details into big deals, and can cost your company a great deal. Building superior leadership teams means recruiting candidates who are not only qualified, but those who know how to convey respect for their colleagues. This is more critical than ever as we continue to adapt to an increasingly virtual world and increasingly rely on our digital body language skills. Let me explain.
I’ll never forget a 30-minute phone call I once had with four colleagues in which the host waited until approximately the 26th minute to ask, “Does anyone on the line…
In response to the overwhelming positive reactions to my book, Digital Body Language, I have created a special online course for you — an opportunity to become a certified Digital Body Language Expert! Watch this preview video to learn more and sign up today!
In addition to access to a community of your peers, downloadable worksheets, over 20 video modules, and an on-demand summary webinar, you’ll learn to:
Build Executive Presence in a Hybrid World by understanding your own digital body language style and that of your team members.
Foster Effective Cross-Silo Collaboration and overcome screen fatigue to collaborate across…
At a dinner conversation recently, one woman told me that analyzing an interviewee’s home background gave her clues on whether the person was a good fit for their company. She looked for things like messiness and the kinds of books on the shelves. To a certain extent, this makes some sense. If these potential new hires would be expected to interface with clients from their homes, then it’s reasonable to assess the level of professionalism that they present. The problem is that analyzing the background of someone’s video screen could quite easily lead to bias (we never know, after all…
The rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in our streets correlates with the rise in anti-Asian hate speech in our digital world. In recent months, we’ve seen a sinister side of this unpleasant truth. Cue Reddit, 4Chain, Discord — the list goes on — bigots are free to say what they’d like behind the comfortable mask of a digital screen.
Thankfully, we’ve also seen a rise in online activism, organizing, and community aid in a way that I personally had not experienced since 9/11. After the attacks, people who looked like me — brown-skinned, vaguely “Middle Eastern” or Indian — were…