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Aug. 18, 2023

Words for the Workplace: A Deep Dive into Emotional Communication at Work - Day 4 - Connection

Words for the Workplace: A Deep Dive into Emotional Communication at Work - Day 4 - Connection

Get ready to revolutionize the way you navigate the digital communication landscape in your workplace. We promise you an insightful conversation about the power of clear language, the underestimated value of punctuation, and yes, even the strategic use of emojis in our digital interactions. We also address the common pitfalls of relying solely on text-based communication, providing you with four actionable tips for fostering better digital connection.

Ever wondered about the silent language of digital communication? We've got you covered, as we discuss the intriguing concept of digital body language, drawing from Erica Dhawan's thought-provoking book 'Digital Body Language'. We dive into the wisdom shared by Brené Brown in 'Atlas of the Heart', emphasizing the need for intentionality in online interactions. The energy exchanged when people feel seen and valued, the dangers of digital disconnect - we address it all. And as we draw this enriching conversation to a close, we leave you with a powerful reminder to always trust and believe in the Lord. Trust us, you won't want to miss this!

Laughter, Love, and Blessings,


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Speaker 1:

When punctuation and acronyms set us off into bouts of uncertainty, self-doubt, anxiety, anger, self-hatred and mistrust, we can be sure we're living in unmapped times. Erika DeWon Talking about emotions can bring up a lot of emotions. Embroaching this subject in the workplace can add another layer of complexity to the conversation, but it doesn't have to be that way. This mini-series will cover five words or word categories that we can start bringing into the workplace to help communicate our emotions in more specific and helpful terms. Hello and welcome. To Connect the Dots, lead the Way. I'm your host, heather Ball-Saric. I'm a white female with short, strawberry-blonde hair. I have on red glasses and a gray t-shirt. Today I am sitting in front of a teal wall that has multiple pieces of art displayed. Welcome back. It is day four of this mini-series and today's word category is connection. A year or so ago, I read the book Digital Body Language how to Build Trust and Connection, no Matter the Distance, by Erika DeWon, and the opening quote came from the first chapter of that book. I think it's on page four. So like it started making an impact on me from the beginning, and I can honestly do a whole other series about this book, but I'm going to try to keep it short and sweet today and I'll try to do a podcast on the book later. But before we dive into digital connection, I do want to revisit the definition from Brene Brown that I shared yesterday from her book Atlas of the Heart. And that's connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued, when they can give and receive without judgment and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. And Erika calls our current state the digital disconnect and she writes that it leads us to misinterpret, overlook or ignore signals and cues, creating an entirely new wave of organizational dysfunction. But why? Why is this? And the first thing that Erika says is that we are cue-less. Nonverbal cues make up 60 to 80% of face-to-face communication. Anthropologist Edward T Hall called these signals and cues the silent language, and those would be posture, proximity, smiles, pauses, yawns, tone, facial expressions, eye contact, hand gestures and volume. Digital communication happens typically over platforms like Zoom, slack, teams, webex, etc. We're not living in the age where we don't have this technology and we're just all gathered around a conference portal in a room or all calling into the conference call lines with the long numbers that you always had to put in. So the digital communication in places like Zoom, slack Teams, webex, whatever if we're not on camera, we can't communicate with this silent language. And don't get me wrong, bye. To have worked from home for a very long time so I am fully aware of what they call Zoom fatigue, bad hair days, being sick, etc. Etc. But those are things that should be the exceptions, not the rules. We miss so much when we aren't on camera, when we aren't having this discussion with the silent language. It leads to things falling through the cracks, things getting misinterpreted. Overall, connections just become difficult to form. So what can we do? How do we fix this? I can't read you all of Erica's book today. That would take way too long. I'm sure there's an audio version that's a much better listen than me, but I'm going to give you four examples from her book. This is literally the end of the first chapter. These are four examples on how you can increase your digital connection through your digital communications. So let me get the book. The book is a very. If you're watching the YouTube video, it's a very bright orange color. So if you do go look for it in the bookstore or you're looking for it on the internet, it is a bright orange book, okay, so at the end of the chapter there's a section that says so, you want to communicate, and there are four different examples that I'm going to go through, and so the first one is trust. So you're looking to communicate trust in traditional body language right, you want to keep your palms open. You want to uncross your arms and legs. You want to smile and nod right, you don't want to close yourself off. You want to be open to that trust piece. But with digital body language, you want to use language that is direct, with clear subject lines and emails with a friendly gesture like text me if you need anything. Hope this helps. You want to never be seen someone without warning. You want to mirror the sender's use of emojis and or informal punctuation. So, communicating trust in this digital space there's, you know, has a lot to do with how we are portraying ourselves in our writing, right, that's how people are seeing us. That's how people begin to trust us. The second one is engagement. So traditional body language right, you're going to lean in with your body as another person is talking. Right, you're going to uncross your arms. You're going to smile and nod. You're going to make direct eye contact In the digital space. Right digital body language to communicate engagement is going to be to. You can prioritize time zone or, sorry, prioritize timely responses. Send responses that answer all the questions or statements in the previous message, not just one or two. Send a simple got it or received if the message doesn't merit a longer response. Don't use the mute button as a license to multitask. Use positive emojis like thumbs up or smiley faces, depending on your culture. Also, make sure your emojis are culturally appropriate. But engagement in the digital space, I think about you know, when I'm doing this podcast and I know I think most people probably listen to the audio version, but if you do watch it, you'll see I still talk with my hands. I try to look right at the camera. I try to make eye contact with the camera so that you feel like we're together, because that's what I want. I want us to be in this together. And so when you're in a meeting and you know you're having a conversation with your boss, with a direct report, with a peer, if you're having these kind of one-on-one or small group communication, it is really important that you're making that eye contact, you're looking at the camera. It helps people know that you're engaged. I mean, even in digital space, I lean forward, you know, to indicate that I'm interested. Those are again the silent language there. Okay, the next one is excitement. Right, communicate excitement. Traditional body language, speaking quickly, raise your voice. Express yourself physically by jumping up and down or tapping your fingers on your desk In the digital world right, digital body language. This looks like using exclamation points and capitalization. Prioritize quick response times. Send multiple messages in a row without getting a response. First, you know those people. I mean, I'm one of those people. Sometimes I'm like, oh, this is great. And like three messages. I don't even get to give you a chance to respond because I'm so excited. Use positive emojis against smiley faces, high fives, you know things. The heart emoji, a gift, even an appropriate gift, let's put it that way. But you can relay your excitement in so many ways in the digital form that still let the other person know it helps you connect with them. All right. And then the fourth example that she gives is urgency. So if you want to communicate urgency, so traditionally right, traditional body language. Raise your voice, speak quickly, point your finger If you're watching the YouTube video, I'm pointing my finger at you or make any other, like exaggerated gestures In the digital space. For your digital body language to communicate urgency might look like using all caps paired with direct language or sentences that end in multiple exclamation marks, opting for a phone call or a meeting over a digital message, skipping the greeting at the top of a meeting, using formal closings, reply all or CC to direct attention. Issue the same message on multiple digital channels simultaneously. So urgency, right. So we talked about trust, engagement, excitement, urgency and the difference with traditional body language and what digital body language might look like, and there's so much more, like I said in this book, but I'm going to shut it down right there because I could talk about it for a long time. But I would love to know from you, right this brief introduction on digital connection, on ways that you can make digital connection, and I'd like to know you know what resonated with you and hearing the differences between traditional body language and digital body language, or what's something you do to connect in the digital world. I think about this, too, in terms of in the digital space, and you have to be very. What's the word I'm looking for? You have to be very. All the words today, y'all. It's not diligent diligence part of it. You have to be very purposeful and you have to be very strategic in creating connection in the digital space. It's not like in the office, where you would walk by somebody in the break room or walk up to the water cooler or whatever. It's not like that in the digital space. So you have to be intentional. There's the word I was looking for intentional about making connections, and that's why it's important to not ignore that silent language. So being on camera and being able to express that silent language, so you can get to know the other people or person that you're talking to. Okay, let me get it like I could go into this for a while, but let me know, head over to my sub stack. The link is in the description Comment. Let me know what resonated with you or how you communicate in this digital world. Make sure you check out the links in the description to learn more about Erica's book Digital Body Language how to Build Trust and Connection, no Matter the Distance, as well as Brunne Brown's book Atlas of the Heart. I'll be back tomorrow with our final words of workplace segment. Until then, I want you to remember that you are loved, you are worthy and there are great things ahead for you in this life if you trust and believe in the Lord. Bye.