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Musings

Communication

Quality communication is a key component to any support endeavor. You will always need to be able to convey the idea you are trying to present to another person, or persons, and how you communicate will be of utmost importance.

As a continued theme, working remotely you will most likely be using some sort of communication “tool” with your team that provides audio, video, and text channels. This post will mostly focus on the text aspects and some considerations when using it.

First off, “text has no tone” is a bit of a mantra to remember. When you are typing your message to another person try to remember to be clear and concise in the information you are sharing. Also remember, there is no body language to convey any extra emphasis and no real means to add emphasis like physically leaning in or raising your voice to animate the conversation (there are some formatting tricks you might consider but for the most part think simple monospace plain lettering as what the person will ultimately see).

Also to note, mind your language! You are typing a message, it’s not like you can accidentally drop an f-bomb into the conversation and carry on — if you type it and hit send it’s mostly going to be a done deal and there for all to see that have access to your sent message.

Take a moment to read (and re-read) the message you have written before hitting the send button. Aside from any poor choice of, or inappropriate, words you should be re-checking your spelling and grammar as well. Some things like blatant spelling and grammar errors or unprofessional language can both distract the reader as well as affect the reputation you are representing (yours and the company if writing to customers). Of course, knowing your audience is the caveat to this, if having a chit-chat is expected/wanted by the other person then it might be best to use that approach and have the content of the message much more loosely guarded.

In my personal opinion, there is no reason whatsoever to use inappropriate language (i.e.: f-bombs, etc.) in text communication. Take the time to find a better way to explain the idea you are trying to share and find better ways to accentuate these ideas… even if that means using more socially acceptable, business-friendly terms that convey the same meaning as a frakking 5hi7-storm f-bomb might.

One last point to ponder, when you are writing someone, pretend they are on the other side of your workspace and consider what reaction they might have if you actually said what you typed instead.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash