Career Management

Communication is essential for the smooth running of a business, whether it is between colleagues, with a client or with customers.

With technology creating a multitude of different ways to communicate these days, it can sometimes complicate things and messages can be interpreted in the wrong way and misunderstandings have potential to create conflict and cause road blocks for work to be completed.

For this reason you must word your messages carefully and double check how comments may be interpreted, whether they are communicated in person or over technology.

Highfive have put together a guide to help you effectively communicate in the workplace, to avoid messages getting lost in translation.

How do we communicate via technology?

  • From emails, to messenger apps, there are a multitude of different methods of communicating digitally and they can be hard to keep up with.
  • Employees receive an average of around 304 weekly business emails and they check their emails on average 36 times an hour!
  • It is hard to interpret tone when receiving a message digitally. Of those who have misinterpreted a message, 44% were via email, 27% were via voice recordings and 0% were face to face.

Things to keep in mind when communicating digitally:

  • Think about how you are using capitalisation. Text in all caps is often thought to represent shouting and can come across aggressive; whereas a lack of capitalisation entirely can appear informal or unprofessional.
  • Punctuation can easily change the tone of your message. For example the use of exclamation marks can come across as fun and excitable, or it could seem assertive or urgent.
  • Choose your method of contact based on the length of your message. Messaging apps can be handy for passing on quick notes or discussing a matter briefly; however anything more detailed or lengthy would be better suited to email.

How do we communicate face-to-face?

  • Our expression can reveal more about what we are thinking and feeling than the words we speak.
  • 93% of communication is non-verbal and body language can help to avoid messages being misunderstood.
  • It is easy to go off on a tangent when you are speaking to somebody in person, as more small talk occurs and there is more freedom for immediate reactions to comments, which can lead to unrelated topics.
  • 50% of meetings are considered a waste of time and 31 hours are spent in seemingly unproductive meetings each month.

Things to keep in mind when communicating face-to-face:

  • The way that you articulate and emphasise words can impact how other people read them.
  • Your posture can have and influence on the way that people pay attention to what you are saying.
  • Eye contact is good for capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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