Ensuring understanding in an age of instant communications

Bosha Design Blog

Clear messaging is more challenging than ever.

Verbal communication, as we all know, is being taken over by quick text messages, IM, Skype text, and email. (I would never have predicted that email would replace the phone or face-to-face meetings as the go-to tool for communicating with clients and co-workers!)

These newer tools force us to be speedy and concise. As a result, our words can lack context, inflection, and nuance.

Have you ever been confused by a one-word text message? For instance, a simple “okay” meant to communicate enthusiastic agreement can sound angry or snarky to the recipient. (Which probably is why emojis were invented. But, like memes, they aren’t always a solution.)

Despite feeling that we need to respond immediately, we owe it to ourselves to take a deep breath and think about what we are actually sending.

So, be brave and hit “pause” (mentally) before you hit “send” (physically). That will give you time to confirm — after the heat of the moment has cooled — that the meaning of your message is clear.

Or how about dialing that number and surprising someone with a friendly conversation? Actually talking to people can do wonders for relationships.

Valentine’s Day would be a great day to start!