How much of your communication is “lost in translation”?

For many people, sending an email or text message may seem like the quickest and most effective way of communicating with their coworkers. These coworkers might sit as close as the cubicle across from them – or as far away as the other side of the world.

In our fast-paced business world email and similar digital communication is an absolute necessity. Meeting people in person is often inefficient and potentially expensive, especially when they work in different time zones or countries.

In some cases face-to-face meetings with coworkers are not only possible, but preferable. As well, video-conferencing has become increasingly sophisticated and popular. Meeting “in person” is now even easier and more efficient than ever before.

Workplace communication can be difficult

Communication in the workplace has always posed a challenge, but 21st century trends may mean even more misunderstandings.

As the US becomes more diverse, so do American workplaces, and that increases the likelihood of cultural and cross-gender misunderstandings. Moreover, many businesses now have workers spread out in different states and countries.

The technology has changed, too. Email and similar digital communication has largely supplanted face-to-face meetings. But we all know that our messages are often misinterpreted, even when we take our time writing them.

In short, regardless of whether you’re communicating in writing or face-to-face, there’s always the risk of misunderstanding or even causing offense.

Tips for effective workplace communication

According to this infographic, which Column Five designed for video-conferencing company Highfive:

With so many methods of communication today, it’s no wonder our messages are lost in translation… [A]sk yourself: Am I saying what I think I’m saying?

There are steps we can take that ensure our messages aren’t lost in translation.

With digital workplace communication, keep the following in mind:

  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Length

With face-to-face workplace communication, consider your nonverbal cues, including:

  • Tone of voice
  • Body Language
  • Eye Contact

Check out this infographic to understand more about why having effective workplace communication matters, and how to best accomplish it.

This article originally appeared in DashBurst Magazine and has been republished with permission.