During these times of lockdown and working remotely, many people are struggling in choosing the right way to stay connected and communicate with peers, subordinates, customers, clients and business partners. The advice I hear from left to right is: write, write, write!
But written communication can be seriously tricky, especially in business. Tone of voice, intention and meaning can easily be misinterpreted. People can and will get offended at what otherwise might seem like something totally inconsequential.
At times, I’ve seen discussions explode over something that was said over email simply because the intent and tone of voice wasn’t understood correctly.
Or, I saw people getting frustrated because they spent a lot of time writing down the instructions, only to find out that the receiver had only scanned through the information and clearly missing some important parts.
So, I started thinking about this issue and looked for solutions on how to avoid being misunderstood when writing and ensuring that my message would land with my receiver.
I have found two alternative routes to this problem, depending on who the receiver(s) is/are and what the purpose is. And here they are:
Option #1 - Keep It Simple; And Break It Up!
If it has to be in writing, for record purposes or because it is part of a longer exchange with a wider group of people in the list, I spend a lot of time being cautious about language used and I break the information in smaller separate paragraphs.
Has anybody ever responded to an email with TL;DR? (It means Too long; didn’t read, BTW)
Quite straightforward and honest; I love it! but most importantly, it raises my awareness.
Avoiding big blocks is a good strategy around this and I always try to add subheadings to guide the reader.
BUT I still experience people not reading the full information or misunderstanding the message.
And this brings me to option number 2!
Option #2 - Record A Video1
One day, I found myself having to give a feedback on a document prepared by a coworker, but finding time for a call to discuss the feedback was not an option.
And this is when I landed on a screen recording solution!
Recording a video message is often the best way to explain yourself. It not only saved me a lot of time, it’ll also ensures that my recipient absorbs the message I am sharing with him.
By recording my screen and my face at the same time, I get to walk my recipient through my entire thought process. Because he gets to watch and listen at the same time, versus having to consume a wall of text, he will remain engaged and be more likely to absorb all the information delivered. And the risk of misunderstanding or missing important pieces is significantly lower!
The additional benefit is that, in times of lockdown and working remotely, finding more opportunities to hear one another’s voices and see each other’s faces really makes a difference.
That’s why I embraced video messages as a way to communicate while working remotely. You get many of the advantages and social benefits of meeting face-to-face without the logistical overhead.
Personally, I am very happy with Loom; it is free of charge and you just need to download the extension for chrome and create an account. And you are good to go!
Give it a try replacing ONE email communication with a screen + face recording and then reply to this email and let me know how it goes. Ok?
Bye for now,