How do you reply to tricky text messages?
You know the kind that leaves you wondering, “What does that mean?!”
Nowadays, effective communication is trickier than ever. Because so much is “said” electronically, much is lost in translation.
More specifically, we lose ninety 90% of effective communication (tone and body language).
Therefore, having an effective communication strategy ahead of time can be extremely helpful. So here are five simple tips to help you reply more effectively to those mind-boggling electronic communications.
Tip #1: Acknowledge the message simply and directly. Try not to spend too much time trying to understand something only the other person can explain.
Suggested Response: Hi! Thanks for your message. I will reply when I can.
Tip #2: Assume nothing. While you may know the person (or not), you do not know all the nuances of their intended message.
Suggested Response: I am a bit unclear, so I want to make sure I am understanding you correctly.
Tip #3: Ask for clarity. Asking eliminates the need for assumptions. Thus, it is an essential tool when replying to confusing messages.
Suggested Response: So what I hear you saying is [enter your understanding of the message here]. Did I get that right?
Tip #4: Appoint a time to speak via phone, video or in person. When words on a screen are getting you nowhere, initiate a more personalized mode of communicating.
Suggested Response: How do you feel about continuing this conversation via [mode of communication] just to make sure [enter end goal here]?
Tip #5: Allow time to pass. If you’re investing more energy into understanding what’s being said than the other is into clarifying it, it may be best to let it be. Silence, in this case, is golden.
Suggested Response: Blink your eyes, and return to what you were previously doing. The person will either respond to your lack of a response or let it go. Either way, it saves you time and energy.
Connect with us: What are some of the most tricky text messages you’ve received—personally or professionally? Need ideas on how to respond? Let us know and we will feature it in our next blog post!