As our modes of communication have grown and evolved over the years, we find ourselves having more and more frequent interactions.
While emails, texts, instant messages and other digital communications continue to increase, our time spent on each one decreases. In an effort to save time, digital communication has become a shortened prose of quick sentences, bullet-point information, and even abbreviated messages in reaction to handling the volume we receive daily.
And with it, our ability to be personal and build deeper working relationships with others through these means diminishes as well.
So how do we build better relationships within our current communication mediums?
Quite simply - by putting the relationship back into our communication.
If we personalize our email chains, text messages, instant messages, and other digital communication, we can make tremendous progress in connections, team building, validating our people, and making others feel valued.
Some quick and easy ways to personalize our communication would be:
- Start your texts with the recipient’s name
- Address your emails with a friendly tone such as “Good Morning Amanda” or “Peter, good afternoon”
- Address specific people in group emails that you want to connect with
- Address everyone in group emails with “Good day teammates” or “Happy Thursday to the Clinical Staff”
- Start Mondays off with the salutation and “Hope your weekend was restful/fun”
- If someone comes back from vacation, “Welcome back Joanie, hope you had a great time in Cancun!”
- Encourage people on Fridays to have fun, rest, and recharge – “Enjoy your family this weekend Todd!”
- Single out and praise people for great work they’ve done – “Thanks Russ for that work on the Martindale project.”
- Always, always say “Please” and “Thank You”
These are just a few of the ways to generate deeper working relationships and build stronger organizations and culture. You may wish to use emoticons in texts or instant messages, “LOLs," or any other modern message as well as long as it’s professional and positively builds the relationship. The trick is to know your people, work towards connecting, and treat them remotely as you would do so in person.
Don’t let digital communication become a barrier in your work culture. Take a moment to make it personal and have others feel valued.
More From Paul LaRue
Paul LaRue is the creator of The UPwards Leader and Instigator for Lead Change Group. His background in senior leadership,. strategic planning, culture change, and people and organizational development gives him unique insight into the workings of successful organizations. Paul has given speeches and training sessions for many public and private entities and stresses the virtue of a culture that centers around core values and character in leadership.