In the workplace, communication is extremely important. However, sometimes messages can be confusing, lost, or misunderstood. To avoid these pitfalls, you should do all you can to get messaging right on your end.

Keep Them Simple

Whenever you send a message to somebody, you should always make sure you keep it simple. If you include too many details or superfluous information, then it can be confusing to whoever you send the message to. This is also where a lot of misunderstanding can arise. When writing your messages, focus on the key points of the message. Be very direct and clear. Try starting with one clear sentence that establishes the main point and then add simple sentences that offer additional explanation. Go through your message and cut out anything unnecessary or confusing. You may also want to stick to a few ideas at a time when sending messages. Trying to cram too many ideas into one message is another way confusion might crop up.

Repeat Them

It’s very easy for messages to get lost in someone’s inbox or for them to simply forget about it. If something is very important, don’t be afraid to repeat the message to your colleagues. For example, if there is an event coming up you should send more than one message with the details. People need to see a message more than once to remember it. Effective messages stick after being repeated 7 to 20 times. The more you repeat a message, the more people will be aware of its importance. However, you don’t want to go overboard and overwhelm people with messages.

Be Mindful of Tone

One of the disadvantages of messaging is that you can’t read body language, facial cues, or even tone of voice. This can make it difficult for people to understand your intentions. It is also common for people to unintentionally read written messages through a negative tone. When sending messages to your coworkers, be mindful of the tone of your message. Try reading your message over a few times before sending it. Try to focus on the positives and be polite. At the same time, you should be considerate when reading others’ emails. Always assume the best of people’s intentions and don’t jump to conclusions based on their tone.

With so many people moving to remote work, it’s important to master virtual communication. It’s not as easy as approaching someone at work and having a discussion. Now is the time to improve your messaging skills for the benefit of you and your co-workers.

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