Digital Communication

How to Balance Professional and Personal Tones in Digital Communication

Digital communication gives new tools that make working together more productive and efficient. However, this communication's quick and convenient nature can lead to a decline in professionalism.

A professional tone is essential in business communications. A casual slip-up can make you look flippant and untrustworthy. You must maintain professionalism and a sense of decorum when using digital tools like SMS or messaging apps in a business setting.

To use these tools best and avoid digital communication blunders, you must know how to balance a personal and professional tone.

Businesslike But Friendly

While we want to be businesslike and professional, it’s also important to sound friendly. All your recipient sees are the words on the screen. They can’t see your facial expression, or body language, or tone of voice. Digital communications can feel abrupt or impolite.

For example, if you’re reminding someone of a request you previously sent, you might say, “I’m just reaching out to follow up about my request from last week. Do you think you could take a minute to check on it?” This is much better than saying, “Please update me on this request.”

How do you strike a good balance? The best practice is to read over each digital communication before sending it. Imagine you are your recipient; try to picture how they might take it wrong.

Use Correct Spelling and Grammar

When texting friends, we often shorten our words with internet slang like “lol” and “ngl.” Even when you’re in a hurry, and your meaning is clear, using these in a business setting is never okay. You should always take the time to write out words and phrases to express yourself properly.

You should also use spellcheck or Grammarly to check spelling, punctuation, and grammar before sending. Errors will also reflect poorly.

Also Read: 8 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Digital Communications

Be Careful with Emojis and GIFs

Emojis and GIFs are considered somewhat of a grey area. They’re sometimes used in a business setting when you have a close relationship, but like internet speak or spelling mistakes, they can make you look unprofessional.

Use emojis and GIFs with caution. If the other person uses them, it’s probably right for you, too.

Don’t Text When Angry

Never use digital communications when you’re angry or feeling defensive. Take a minute to disconnect and cool down before you compose your message. Read it over extra carefully before you send it. If possible, it’s always best to discuss sensitive or highly emotional issues on the phone or in person. Text and email are not reliable media for discussions that require nuance.

Establish Digital Communication Protocols

Establishing digital communication protocols lets you communicate efficiently and appropriately each time. These guidelines might include:

  • Appropriate communication channels for messages based on urgency, formality, or complexity
  • Guidelines for maintaining a professional, respectful, and friendly tone
  • Ideas for ensuring clarity, such as the use of bullet points, examples, or structural templates
  • Confidentiality guidelines

Want to learn more about using digital communication more effectively in your business? Head over here: Business – Orkra


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