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How To Be Communication Savvy In The Digital Age

By Simon de Cintra

July 14 2018 - The digital age has well and truly arrived for everyone and the future is already here, although not evenly distributed. The impact on business and the working world is significant and will only increase. Human Resources leaders know that everyone will need new skills and behaviours going forward, many people are experiencing the discomfort of having to relearn how to learn. In this article, presentation coach and author of Unlock Your Business Voice (Rethink Press), Simon de Cintra reveals the power of the digital age on communication in the workplace and provides his top tips on how to unlock your business voice in the digital age.

Tip 1 : Don't Resist Change

For any organisation, the opposing force to progress is resistance to change. You need to embrace the discomfort of having to relearn how to learn. If you are unsure of what the best platforms or applications to communicate on online are, it is important you are proactive and do your research to find this out. Ask a colleague the best way to communicate your specific message online, do not suffer in silence. Everyone starts at the beginning with technology so do not feel overwhelmed!

Tip 2: Embrace Social Media In Business

We have all seen the impact social media has had on society and its impact has not escaped the workplace. More and more of us now work out loud and share peer reviews with the online community. Thus in business you should be taking advantage of social media as a platform for communication. Social media is a great way to communicate directly with customers and with relevant stakeholders. Skype and virtual meetings are extremely helpful for long distance meetings with clients and suppliers, saving both time and money for your business. You cannot fall behind on the social media bandwagon if you want to be successful and grow in the technology dependent society we live in today.

Tip 3: Prioritise Human Interactions

It is easy with technology to lose sight of the importance of human interaction, we become preoccupied with staring at our screens and sending emails to communicate instead of prioritising human interactions. This is a common mistake in communication today, you need to listen and collect a variety of differing views and opinions through face to face interaction. Reach out to colleagues, have an impromptu meeting in the office or pick up a phone instead of relying on messaging. You need a physical business voice, not just solely digital in order to keep up with the ever increasing rate of progress which technology is driving forward.

Tip 3: Take A Moment Before Rushing To Respond

Communicating online has a plethora of benefits however there is a huge drawback that once you post you lose control of the message. This is why in order to be communication savvy you need to take a moment before rushing into posting online or responding to a customer. One badly worded or misunderstood tweet can unfortunately go viral and could be detrimental to your brand and reputation, especially if the media picks up on it.

Tip 4: Don't Waffle, Get Straight To The Point

When reading anything online people expect points to be concise and to the point, if the content is too long and wordy many have the tendency to skim read over the information to obtain what information is relevant to them. This is why you should not waffle online as your point will not get noticed and it is just a time wasting exercise. If you tend to ramble when explaining things to your workforce you need to adapt your style to become more succinct online. My top tip is to change your mindset, effectively you need to flip the switch from 'transmit' to 'receive'. Here you will need to open your mind to your audience's expectations, and allow this to impact on your online presentation style as well as impact the information you offer in any online written or verbal communication. A simple restructuring of your message can be just what you need to communicate your message successfully and engage your audience.

Tip 5: Organisation

As there are now so many platforms where you can communicate online with your workforce, consumers and stakeholders, you cannot be disorganised in the digital age. You need to record responses and who you have communicated with and on what online platform in order to not lose track. A spreadsheet may be very helpful with this.

The rise in communication is far from being something to be worried about, this brave new world is tremendously exciting and arguably will help us to evolve and fulfil our potential as human beings. Play your part and bring your business voice into the arena, you've always had a VOICE now it's time to turn up the dial digitally.

In the world of business you may have already experienced the transient nature of the workplace, just as you are getting used to one set of colleagues, technology and the ways of working, it is time to move onto something else. Add to that the more fluid movement of technical skills across business sectors and you can easily find yourself working with stakeholders who have different needs and ways of communicating, even when the overall technical requirements of the job remain the same; this explains why you need to be flexible and adaptable with communication in the digital age.

About the Author

Simon de Cintra has over 25 years experience in business and provides coaching and mentoring for people who are looking to gain confidence with their public speaking skills or want to learn how to lead and influence others.

In 2006 Simon founded MyFirstTrainers® and has delivered workshops at leading business schools and internationally for major blue chip companies. Simon specialises in personal impact, influencing and persuading stakeholders and public speaking skills for introverts working in complex and highly technical environments.

His varied career inspired him to seek the formula behind authentic communication revealed in his new book Unlock Your Business Voice - How to speak as well as you think (£12.99, Rethink Press). On-sale now from Amazon at £12.99



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