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WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT? Decoding Signals in Digital Communication

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Mar. 12 2018, Published 8:00 p.m. ET

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We are communicating faster and more often than ever before. We feel like we're being productive - but are we really? When your colleague replies "fine!" are they actually fine... or are they angry? Do you wait hours to get clarification on a vague e-mail? Did that weekend text message from your boss irritate you?

In person, we can clarify context immediately. We rely on body language and tone to grasp the real meaning. With our digital walls up, we lose subtext and nuance. We're using our 'saved' time to clarify meaning. How do you view someone that doesn't text back for hours or even days? When can you use or not use an emoji or LOL at work? What does your boss, team, and colleague think of that kind of behavior? We all leave a digital impression on each other.

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