Effective Communication is essential in any business or relationship. As we move further into the world of non-verbal communication, text messaging & emails happen more often than in person communication. I have seen a lot of broken relationships because of misinterpreted or hastily sent texts or emails. I’m certain that we all have stories of messages sent in hast or to the wrong person. I once had a pastor text me that he would “Meet me in bed”, to which I promptly replied “Ummm, no you won’t!” I knew that he meant to text that he would “Meet me in Bend.” but can you imagine? Save yourself the embarrassment and help your communication skills all around. It pays to error on the side of empathy and understanding. The following are a couple suggestions, when sending and receiving text messages.
1. Read the message back to yourself, maybe even a couple times.
2. Don’t be afraid to use punctuation, sometimes when left out can change the context of the message completely.
3. Acknowledge pain or offer an apology. Simply saying I’m sorry goes a long way.
4. Take a moment, if you are angry or annoyed, send messages with a clear head.
5. Ask someone else’s opinion. Sometimes we think we are communicating effectively only to send a message we didn’t intend to send.
1. Assume positive intent.
2. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification.
3. Acknowledge receipt.
4. Give feedback.
5. Think through your responses.
These are only a few ideas to start the conversation, now that working remotely and communicating through messaging is the norm, there is a lot of information out on the web, use it to improve your team’s communication skills, not only to each other but to your customers as well.