Communication has quickly warped into a digital form of texting and emailing. In the busy world we live in today, it can much more convenient to shoot someone a quick email instead of giving them a call. Though convenient, we hit barriers when trying to express precisely what we mean through email instead of face-to-face conversation. So let’s talk: here are 5 tips to improving your communication in the digital age:
1. Make note of your tone
When drafting an email, it is important to think about how your word choice and punctuation are being perceived by your recipient. The replacing of a period with an exclamation mark makes a world of difference, so make note of when and how you want to use different punctuation. The same applies to words. Using the word amazing is much different than using the word good. Think about how you can convey your thoughts and feelings most effectively and how that differs from everyday language.
2. Don’t wait too long to respond to an email
Oftentimes, waiting a long time to respond to an email can makes it seem as though you are uninterested in the discussion. Your recipient might develop their own perception of your tone simply based on the length of time you take to respond. Emailing is not immediate, like speaking face-to-face, so you should do your best at being prompt with your responses.
3. Recognize your recipient’s grammar and tone
When deciding how you should respond to an email, take note of how the other person is using their punctuation and word choice. If you are unfamiliar with the recipient, they will most likely be using a formal tone and you should do the same. If their tone seems harsh or unresponsive, make note that it might just be how they are typing, not how they are feeling/thinking.
4. Remain professional, yet warm
Though you want to remain professional, be sure to add some warmth to your text. After all, you are no robot and are not expected to respond like one. People like to see personality and interest. Just be sure that your enthusiasm is mixed with professionalism.
5. Proof read
Proofread, proofread, proofread. Auto-correct can do weird things to your text and it is your job to make sure that your sentences make sense and are concise. You do not want to send out an email if it is nonsensical, making you seem unprofessional. Checking for punctuation and spelling errors is not hard; your recipient might view your mistakes as careless and irresponsible. So let’s proofread!
Digital communication is becoming more and more popular, which is great! However, with this progression, it is important to make sure we are transitioning appropriately and know how to use it correctly. Make note of what you type and how others might perceive it. Communication is key to any professional relationship, even if it is through a screen.