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.).
- 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
- 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
- Think about how to use non-standard punctuation and text formatting to represent your voice and tone:
- “Sure!!” vs. “Sure…”
- “Sooooooooo good!”
- “Oooooh wow”
- “WHAT!” (indicating shouting)
- “That’s highly unlikely” (italics to indicate tone of emphasis)
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