Caution with texting, emailing, remote communications - Here is some Tips

The tips below come from ​"Practice Strong Distance Communication" by Jack Jenkins on Intercom’s blog.

Assume Positive Intent

  • Pause and breathe when you notice yourself having a strong reaction.
  • If you read a message that seems negative in any way, consider other explanations for what was just said (e.g. they misunderstood, they’re tired, they’re hungry, they’re stressed, they’re distracted, etc.).

Clarify Ambiguity

  • If chat is a proxy for speaking, the onus is on the speaker to make themselves understood. It doesn’t hurt to over communicate or over clarify in chat.
  • On the flip side, if you’re unclear about something, ask!
    • “I wanna make sure I understand you”
    • “Just so we’re clear, what you’re saying is…”
    • “It’s not clear from your message how you feel about this.”
    • Emojis can help soften your clarification

Express Yourself

  • Communication isn’t just getting information from you to another person. It’s how you actually connect and build relationships. Something that happens so naturally in person and less so via chat.
  • Again, emojis can help
  • Show spectrum of emojis :smile::grin::smiley::laughing::upside_down_face::blush::smirk::relieved::crazy_face:
  • Think about how to use non-standard punctuation and text formatting to represent your voice and tone:
    • “Sure!!” vs. “Sure…”
    • “Sooooooooo good!”
    • “Oooooh wow”
    • “Aha!”
    • “WHAT!” (indicating shouting)
    • “That’s highly unlikely” (italics to indicate tone of emphasis)


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