Clear communication is key to great collaboration, but how do we communicate effectively in our increasingly remote environment? In her book Digital Body Language, Erica Dhawan answers that question and uncovers the science behind how we can communicate in a world full of emails, texts, and video calls.
Dhawan explores how the term “body language” means something different in our era. For example, a simple period at the end of a sentence. In a book, blog, email, or other long forms of communication, the “hard stop” still means the sentence is over. In a text or Slack message, a period may signify annoyance, anger, or more.
These new ways of thinking about punctuation and how it comes across are just one example of new forms of communication that we all need to thoroughly understand to collaborate and build relationships effectively.
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The Four Principles of Digital Body Language
In her book, Dhawan lays out four principles that can guide us as we become better digital communicators. These four core principles are:
- Valuing visibly
- Communicating carefully
- Collaborating confidently
- Trusting totally
Each of these are explained in depth throughout the book with supporting examples, but at their core, each strives to make us more self-aware of how we communicate daily.
For instance, to communicate carefully, we need to be aware of our word choice, tone, punctuation, the channel we select to communicate, and the fact that our messages may be misinterpreted and require a follow-up response.
Choosing a medium for communication is one of the biggest things to consider. Do you need a video meeting to get your point across, or can it be a simple chat message? Or maybe a longer email so that the other person has it for reference. All of these questions should be considered when communication begins instead of after the fact.
Digital Body Language is an excellent tool and resource for leaders looking to understand communication on a deeper level, especially in a world without many face-to-face meetings or quick chats.
Key Takeaways: Digital Body Language
In her book, Dhawan covers:
- The pitfalls of modern digital communication.
- How to become an effective collaborator.
- Ways to practice self-awareness when it comes to communicating.
- The four principles of digital body language.
- Actionable tips, tricks, and ideas to build a more effective digital culture.
Get your copy of Digital Body Language by Erica Dhawan and become a better communicator.