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What's Your Digital Body Language?

Reviewing Your Online Identity, Representation, and Visibility

I eagerly opened the email. The subject line caught my attention, but the body of the email looked to be a mile long. Was it like the "fat college acceptance letter," filled with exciting information about the state of the department or the "legalistic bombardment of a disgruntled collegue"?

In today's constant digital barrage of communciation, our digital presence is a minefield of complicated nuance.

Have you heard of Digital Body Language? After the events of the last few years, it’s something we should be good at, right? Unfortunately, we aren’t. Erica Dhawan, author of the new book Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance, explains that digital miscommunication happens because we don’t have a rulebook for how to decipher our digital body language. She explains that like traditional body language, digital body language is something we should learn; it is the “new normal.”

Dhawan emphasizes Valuing Visibility, Communicating Carefully, Collaborating Confidently, and Trusting Totally.

Valuing Visibly

"Valuing Visibly" entails consistently being attuned to the needs and schedules of others. Today, carefully reading emails in our inbox is a modern form of attentive listening. When we embody Valuing Visibly, we show a willingness to acknowledge and sit with the discomfort of others without immediately seeking to fix or resolve it. Build a relationship with trust and respect by genuinely recognizing and appreciating others.

Communicate Carefully

Practicing “Communicate Carefully” involves setting clear expectations in our various communication channels: messaging, emails, Slack, etc. It means understanding the accountability of each person copied on the message and identifying who is responsible for the subsequent steps. By “Communicating Carefully,” we significantly reduce confusion in our communication processes.

Collaborate Confidently

When we engage in “Collaborate Confidently,” we embrace the freedom to take thoughtful risks while having confidence in the support of others. We need to navigate through fear, uncertainty, and anxiety to recognize we provide mutual support and collaboration to prevent failure. “Collaborate Confidently” reduces the risk of being caught in a dilemma between excessive and insufficient attention to move towards decisive action.

Trust Totally

Finally, there is the principle of “Trust Totally,” which can only be established once the initial three laws have been put into practice. “Trust Totally” entails fostering an open team culture where everyone is aware that their opinions are valued, and they can freely seek assistance from one another. By embracing “Trust Totally,” we unlock the full potential of individuals within the team.

Considering the many facets of our collegues, friends, and families, understanding our own digital body language is what will help us achieve success. Thanks to Erica Dhawan, we now have a a roadmap to follow.


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Alison Nissen is the co-founder and Chief Storytelling Officer of Revel Coach, a career growth platform. Alison helps leaders perfect their business pitches and online presence through storytelling. Successful executives use key storytelling points to engage their audience and gain market share because they know that good storytelling is the best form of marketing, recruiting, and fundraising. Present with Power Mastermind enrolling now.

You Never Have a Second Chance to Make a First Impression.

The Revel Coach™ Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not mental health, financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any medical, mental or emotional condition. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content.

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