The Variables of Communicating with Technology

Communication is a key attribute individuals must have to succeed in business.  It is the fundamental ingredient to any business relationship whether it is a partnership, customer relationship or employer to employee relationship.

While technology has slowly integrated itself into the work place, it is now without question an essential part of any business.  Employees are spending less time on the phone and more time emailing, people are spending more time shopping online than in stores.  While many consider communication to be mainly focussed on verbal communication, written is crucial, if not equal to but more important in the current climate.

Renee Robinson (Communicating with Technology) explains the power of personal branding through mindful communication practices.  It is what differentiates an individual from others and when practiced in an online realm it can help your business immeasurably.
Robinson explains the variables that should be considered when communicating via email.

  • The receiver is relying solely on text.  There is no face-to-face or audible tone to rely upon to reinforce the intention behind your message.
  • The signs and symbols we use in an email convey a lot about the personality of the sender.
  • The amount of jargon associated with the industry used, displays the levels of knowledge and understanding of the industry.
  • Considering the organisational structure of your work place, if the leaders of the organisation communicate openly and warmly, this is the style in which the employees will communicate.  On the contrary if the leader communicates short and cold, employees will then take on this style in their communication.

The variables of using voicemail

  • You must know what is going to be in your message before leaving a voicemail.
  • You must know what impression you want to convey through your short verbal message.
  • You must know what action you want the receiver to take after hearing the message.
  • Structure your message in the form of a presentation, introduction, body and conclusion.  This means grabbing the attention of the receiver, conveying the intention of the message, and providing contact details clearly.
  • Consider that the receiver will most likely only listen to the message once and therefore is crucial that your message is clear and concise.
  • Consider the following elements of your message delivery:
    – Articulation – Enunciation – Pitch
    – Speed – Vocal Energy – Volume

The variables of Video Chat Calls

  • When setting up an account keep your name professional, free from slang or inappropriate language.
  • Consider the following when agreeing to a video call:
    – Artifactual communication eg. Clothing and decor and Facial expression
    – Haptics – messages sent by touch
    – Kinesics – Messages sent by body movement and gestures and Occulesics, messages sent through eye movement
    – Proxemics – messages conveyed through using space and location

A review of your practices and an outlining of your objectives for your business and personal endeavours, can help in attaining your goals.  Try applying these next time you compose an email, leave a voicemail or hold a video meeting.
References: Robinson, Renee PhD, Communicating with Technology, A Guide for Professional Digital Interaction, 2014 Saint Xavier College, Chicago