Our efforts to communicate with one another are constantly thwarted these days. Technology, while being a very good thing, has also caused us to expect instantaneous information. And at the same time, we suffer from short attention spans.
We tend to forget that email, texting, and social networks are only the messengers – we are still communicating with humans. Humans have feelings, as well as egos, so it pays to ensure we send the right message.
- Slow down! Take a few extra seconds to proofread and edit your message before sending it.
- Go easy on the acronyms. LOL! Everyone may not be familiar with the same ones you are, and limit them only to text messages and social network posts. In email, or any work-related communications, skip them all together. They will not help your professional image.
- Use short, concise sentences. The average person better absorbs information that is written at an 8th grade level. Information is rarely read – it is usually skimmed (remember, we’re all in a big hurry!). Keep it simple so your message is clear.
- Own your message. If someone misunderstands you, apologize and restate what you wrote so that it is clear. Taking responsibility shows your sincerity, no matter what you are communicating.
What experiences have you had with miscommunications? Do you have a story about a message gone wrong? Tell us about it here.