How to use texting and other communication apps effectively?

With the world trying to adapt to the “new normal”, working remotely or the work-from-home concept is dominating. Text messaging or other forms of virtual communication are overtaking calls or in-person meetings. Irrespective of the use at schools, colleges, or workplaces, text messaging services such as SMS and MMS, VoIP chats like Skype, or other instant messaging apps have turned out to be indispensable tools.

Before knowing the effective ways of communication, we must understand the challenges in text messaging.

Primarily, miscommunication is widespread since it is difficult to convey your emotions appropriately over text. Facial expressions or the tone of voice cannot be conveyed via text. Moreover, over-dependency encourages complacency since we frequently use short-forms or ignore capitalization and punctuations.

Therefore, it is essential to overcome these challenges.

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1. An appropriate medium is essential.

Before sending a message, you must analyze if the message can be sent via text or not. Generally, text messaging is considered informal and yet a less personal medium. Moreover, the length of the message also speaks a lot. If you are taking over ten minutes to compose a message, email would be a better choice. Similarly, you must ensure that those conversations which require detailed explanations are carried out via some other communication apps such as Skype.

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2. Re-read a few times before you finally send the message.

If you are using too many short-forms, or exclude punctuations, or your spelling and grammar are not appropriate, it might become challenging for the recipient to understand. Therefore, it would help if you re-read before you send the message. Moreover, verify whether you are sending the message to the right person or not. Even if you decide to send a voice message, ensure that you speak at a proper pace and tone so that the recipient clearly understands what you are willing to convey.

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3. Etiquettes should be applied.

  • Respectful language is the best way to ensure better understanding.
  • Timing should be kept in mind. You should not send a message at odd times like 3:00 am and then expect a rapid reply.
  • Make sure you do not get aggressive while you are communicating.
  • Professional messages should be kept as concise and precise as possible.
  • It is best to respond immediately, and even if you are tied up, ensure dropping a message which states that you would contact as soon as possible.

Moreover, three-Ps matter to effectively communicate virtually- Preparation, Participation, and Propriety.

Preparation during video-based communication includes checking technical requirements like network and internet connectivity, appropriate location with minimal distractions, and maintaining basic grooming standards. Furthermore, online communication demands high level of participation and engagement. Follow general instructions, speak clearly, and participate effectively by asking questions and sharing your views. Propriety is important. Just as we communicate in-person, we must converse virtually, being gracious and polite. Greet the team, address everyone while you speak, listen to everybody’s opinion, and ensure that you do not interrupt while others are speaking.

Overall, being well-mannered and equally fun-filled will help you communicate effectively, even on a virtual platform.