Basic Communication Etiquette


September 23, 2020


Strong communication skills can be key to win the day. Let it be at work, personal life, or any endeavor which requires conveying or swapping information by speech, text, or using some other medium. It’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to working remotely. Fortunately, there are many solutions like Zoom, Slack, Asana, JIRA, and GoToMeeting, which enables efficient communication while you work remotely.

However, adhering to some basic communication etiquette will reduce awkward mistakes that may damage one’s professional reputation or personal life. At the end of the day, how you communicate with others determines how they perceive you.

Effective communication builds engagement and trust among individuals. This is vital when working remotely, and your colleagues are spread out across the country or the world. When a message is not clearly communicated, it could lead to misunderstanding, confusion, frustration, and hindrances in day-to-day lives. However, by following good communication etiquette, many of the misunderstandings can be avoided.

Let’s look at five basic etiquettes in communication to follow if you are in a remote job role.

  • Listen and understand
    Listening is the most underrated communication tool in any circumstance. When working remotely, you must decipher the message communicated to you by your superiors or colleagues carefully as you are working with minimal supervision. You want to get the job done right the first time. Regardless of communication, many of us focus on the idea that we want to convey next and give minimal attention to what the other person has to say. Effective communication entails paying attention to what the other person has to say, as much as conveying what you want to express. Listening can lead to minimizing misunderstandings, saving time, and completing tasks efficiently.

    Therefore one of the main etiquettes in successful communication involves decoding what you just heard or did not make sense to you. It’s important to ask for clarification where you do not understand, have a question or concern.

  • Choose the right delivery
    Decide on the most appropriate means of getting the message through to the recipients. At times the best method (especially where group projects are involved) may be to have a zoom call or a group chat with your colleagues. However, in other scenarios, a quick individual text message or a phone call can convey what you need to say. Some information is best delivered via email.
  • Pay attention to instructions and ask questions
    Please give your full interest and attention when someone gives you instructions, as they are not available in-person to supervise you when you work remotely. You may be a master at multi-tasking, but you may miss out on important points of a discussion if you respond to text messages or emails in the middle of a video or audio conference. Multi-tasking during a conversation indicates that you’re not fully interested in the conversation. Therefore it is important to give undivided attention to whoever engages in conversation with you to understand their requirement completely.

    Ask thoughtful and open-ended questions, which not only asserts to the other person that you are interested in what they have to say but also helps you accomplish responsibilities related to work.

  • Keep it brief and simple
    It is important to keep your message specific, direct, and brief. Rambling on and diverting from the topic and focusing time on personal agendas can be a nuisance to some, especially when you want to convey a message at a remote work meeting. It can also be confusing. Be mindful and respectful of other people’s time.
  • Use your words in a productive manner
    Words can establish connections, help others, and drive businesses. Therefore use your words wisely and productively. Avoid negative comments, disparaging others, and gossiping. Always resort to constructive ways to disagree or express concern. Keep an open mind and avoid attacking others.

Sticking to the basic communication etiquette above can help you to communicate effectively regardless of the situation, and save the loss of time and money that could result from misunderstandings.


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