There’s a Person on the Other End of that Text

As more communication tools like social media become available to us, I’m noticing that the quality of our communication is eroding. People abbreviate thoughts and ideas, skip the general pleasantries of polite conversation, and get right to the point. This is dangerous for a couple of reasons, but primarily because nuances of nonverbal communication in a text-based conversation are easily lost. “Bring home milk” sent via text is a clear, appropriate message, but it is not nearly as friendly as “Would you please bring milk home, honey?” While younger generations like the Millenials (born 1980-2002) may find the first message perfectly acceptable, older generations find this type of conversation abrupt.

There is a better way, and it is easy to execute. Simply remember that there is another person on the other end of your message – regardless of how you send it (Facebook, Twitter, email, text, etc.) Treat that person with the same courtesy you would show them face to face. Don’t hide behind the bravery afforded by a keyboard. Instead, consider how the person on the other end will feel when he gets your message. Is that how you want him to feel? If not, craft the message so that it does. It is worth the five extra seconds it takes to type please or thank you, and you are much more likely to get the desired response.

 

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Featured Tip

What actions can we take to help calm others? Lean forward, use meaningful eye contact, and use a softer “fleece blanket” voice.

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