- intermittent /in-ter-MIT-nt/
- prominent /PROM-uh-nuhnt/
- inadvertently /in-uhd-VUR-tnt-lee/
- clarify /KLAR-uh-fahy/
- articulate /ahr-TIK-yuh-leyt/
[adjective] – not happening regularly or continuously; stopping and starting repeatedly or with periods in between
The soccer game was postponed due to the intermittent rain that day.
[adjective] – very well known and important
Addressing issues in digital communication is prominent nowadays.
[adverb] – in a way that is not intentional
Anna inadvertently phoned the wrong person yesterday.
[verb] – to make something clearer or easier to understand
Could you clarify the intention of this paragraph, please? Thank you.
[verb] – to explain in words, especially to express something clearly
Without a doubt, it’s difficult to articulate words sometimes without sounding rude.
Leadership expert Erica Dhawan points to the examples above as “digital body language,” cues that signal the mood, engagement, and meaning of words we say in texts, phone, or video calls. Remote working has made digital body language more prominent. In a recent survey of 2,000 employees, a whopping 70% reported poor digital communication as their main work issue. When calculated, workers are inadvertently wasting about four hours of work in a week. That’s around 10% a day. So how do we solve these issues? Dhawan recommends the use of emojis and punctuation marks like the exclamation point to clarify the meaning of words. For example, adding the fist bump emoji represents mutual appreciation whereas using the enthusiastic “Thanks!” as a sign-off message instead of the emotionally distant “Regards.” has a more personal touch. Participants in video calls are encouraged to raise their hands before speaking and avoid multitasking as much as possible. If there are interruptions like an incoming call, excusing yourself or sending a message in the chatbox emphasizes your respect to others.
Digital communication may be difficult to express, or we may not be able to articulate it properly at all. Like any other skill, perfecting digital body language takes time but it saves both listener and speaker the confusion caused by miscommunication behind our screen devices.
- Have you had any challenges in digital communication similar to the issues mentioned in the article? Please tell me more about it.
- Please share an instance where you misinterpreted someone’s message in digital communication.
- How would you express your gratitude to someone via text?
- Is it acceptable to use emojis when writing emails at work?
- How can we improve our knowledge of digital communication?
- sign-off message