Whether it is an important business situation, a first date, or even just a chat with friends – communicating effectively is an essential part of being successful. Notice, I said EFFECTIVELY. Sure, you can talk a lot, bombard someone with texts and emails, and use emojis until your heart is content, but that doesn’t mean you’ve actually said anything. Which brings me to my first point:
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Quantity is not Quality
Anytime you are sharing thoughts, emotions, or ideas with other people, take the time to think out what it is you are trying to say. As much as I believe in actual human interaction, I have kind of gotten addicted to texting. Simply because it provides the opportunity to see a thought written out, gives me a chance to edit it, and allows for a little more thought than just blurting something out. As dumb as my mouth may be at times, my thumbs are geniuses. Speaking of speaking, again, take a second to process a thought before it becomes an auditory addition to the universe. We have all known people that say 1000 words when 100 would convey the message. Depending on the situation, that can be the difference between a vocal success and a rambling failure. Sometimes digital communication is the safer, more comfortable route, which brings me to my next point:
For God’s Sake, Proofread
If you’re going to stick to digital communications like email or texts, proofreading is never a bad idea. Yes, some of my favorite things on the internet are the screen shots of autocorrect failures. Yes, I have misspelled words in articles on this very website. We are all guilty of it at some point. There are too many tools out there like Grammarly for people to be writing bad emails or even facebook posts. I can write the most amazing and informative article ever conceived by man, but I promise you that if I misspell a word, it instantly loses credibility. Which brings me to my next point:
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Know your Audience/Situation
An email to the CEO of your company should sound like you are chatting with a buddy. On the other hand, you don’t have to sound like a robot, either. There exists a happy medium where you can remain professional and still have personality. Every digital conversation has the potential to be effective as long as you think it out and execute it correctly. Which, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now – brings me to my next point:
Know the Limitations of Digital Communication
Text messages and emails are amazing at completely lacking any sense of inflection, sarcasm, or passion. Sure, you can put “lol” or a smiley after a snarky comment but don’t expect them to have the same weight as what was actually said. For all it’s convenience, digital communication is devoid of emotion. There are times that emotional connection is essential in your communication for whatever reason, which brings me to my final point:
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Pick up the Phone
If you have a point that needs to be made or are passionate about whatever it is that you are saying – SAY it. Humans didn’t go through hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to reduce our brain’s communicative abilities to texts like “OMG RLY? (surprised face emoji)”. If you want an emotional response from someone else, you have to let them know that you are passionate about what you are saying. Like I said, that passion doesn’t exist in digital forms like it does in the inflection and tone of our voices. So, whether you are trying to close a sale, or get that second date, pretend like it is 1985 and pick up the phone.