If you find yourself giving an exaggerated nod on a video call when a colleague makes an insightful comment, you’re not alone. That’s one element of digital body language, or the cues and signals that people send when communicating digitally. According to Erica Dhawan, these small gestures make up the subtext of virtual communication.
“Everything from the punctuation we use, to our email response times, to our virtual video call backgrounds, to how we greet and sign off a message make or break how others read our message,” says Dhawan, author of the book Digital Body Language.
In this video, Dhawan and InnoLead CEO Scott Kirsner discuss best practices for fostering virtual connections and improving meetings. Dhawan also shares the danger of prioritizing speed over taking the time to thoughtfully assess ideas.
“Especially with the pressure of digital communications, we often feel like we have to be the fastest to respond, the quickest to jump in…[Those who do] get credit, get respected,” she says. “It’s also creating a lot of mishaps…where we may unintentionally or subconsciously be rewarding the fastest one of you, versus teams actually taking the time to strategize, to think, and then to respond.”