When you talk to someone face to face, it’s easy to understand what they are saying. After all, we don’t just talk with our mouths; we also communicate using our bodies. Face to face, you can read someone’s hand gestures, body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. All of this makes it very easy to understand what the person is saying. But if we communicate online it’s very difficult!
Online it’s a whole different ball game. When you communicate with someone via email, forums, or even webcasts, it’s not always that easy. You cannot read any of the expressions mentioned above after all.
However, by following a few simple rules, you can make communication on the net much easier.
How to best communicate online?
Write clearly: it is often difficult to write which is actually quite easy to say. But writing endlessly can be confusing for the reader. Instead, think about what you want to say and write short, clear sentences. Sentences sprinkled with punctuation can be read in a number of ways and can confuse the reader – again, stick to short, clear sentences.
It also helps to end your message with a little humor or other “kindness”. This will help prevent your overall message from appearing dry. It is very easy for people to confuse direct and direct with courage when reading.
Learn netiquette: online there are different rules of politeness. Do not write through the capitals.
Also, using too many exclamation marks can make your post irrational or a bit over the top. And on the other hand, overly straightforward sentences without humor can seem harsh or emotionless. Try to find a balance between using expressive punctuation like exclamation points and not using them at all.
You can also use emoticons online to express how you feel – a happy face at the end of a direct message can make a big difference in the reader’s overall impression. However, if you write more professionally or want your post taken seriously, too many emoticons, such as happy faces, can make you look unprofessional or not be taken seriously. Again, it’s about finding the right balance.
Explain Yourself: Especially when dealing with coworkers and contractors, it’s important that they know up front that when you’re writing a business message, you can do it in a very straightforward way. Ask them not to take this to mean anything other than what is written on the message.
This is a particularly effective strategy when it comes to virtual helpers such as writers or social workers. You simply won’t have time to include a chatty message with every email. Explain that your direct messages don’t mean you’re upset or anything – you’re just communicating about the job at hand.
We hope these three rules will help you avoid the many pitfalls of online communication. It’s also helpful to keep in mind that sometimes you may read a post differently than the author intended. It is always best to approach these situations with caution by simply asking the writer to explain what they mean. The worst thing to do would be to go into all the guns and realize that you actually misunderstood their message.
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