ELE live learning experience: ‘Digital Body Language’ Feb. 1

The HR Employee Learning and Engagement team invites you to engage in a live virtual learning experience designed exclusively for the Vanderbilt community and led by the ELE team.

Description:   Every piece of digital communication is subjective. In the workplace, seemingly subtle choices can lead to miscommunication, inefficiencies and challenging interpersonal dynamics.

Have you ever experienced a supervisor sending a meeting invitation without a subject for the late afternoon, a colleague responding with one word when your email outlined multiple questions and priorities, or a message that the sender marked urgent that was not urgent at all? From emails, video calls and texts to emojis, punctuation, phrasing, tone and more, this workshop will explore how digital body language influences your relationships, effectiveness and understanding. We will discuss how brevity, response time and medium, seemingly meaningless word choices such as adding “very” or another adjective for emphasis, and other non-verbal virtual cues can impact our message.

Together, we will explore strategies to enhance and clarify our digital communications so that our messages are fully received in the way that we intend, and so that we’re giving our colleagues the benefit of the doubt when we interpret their messages. For example, we can shift our response to a proposal a colleague shares from “I like your ideas here, but … ” (which can feel invalidating or can, at the least, make others focus on what negative feedback might be coming after the “but”) to “I like your ideas here, and I wonder … ” We can limit our use of words such as “kind of” and “just,” which can undermine our message, and we can limit saying “I’m sorry” (such as, “I’m sorry to bother you … ”) to times that truly call for an apology.

This workshop draws from multiple resources, including Harvard Business Review, TEDx talks, Erica Dhawan’s Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust & Connection, No Matter the Distance, and various other articles.

Facilitator: Krista Vaught

Our participation levels will guide you in selecting learning opportunities that are a good fit for you, your schedule and your energy. We want you to have the opportunity to participate in the way that is most meaningful, valuable and growth-focused yet comfortable for you. You can learn more about participation levels and where each workshop fits on our website; levels are indicated by 1 (Consume and Consider), 2 (Comment and Connect) or 3 (Collaborate and Create).

The ELE team also has selected self-paced resources on a variety of relevant topics, including career growth, communication, leadership, mentorship and teamwork.

To register for any learning experience, please visit our website or search for “ELE” on SkyVU/Oracle under Learning. Please note that ELE workshops are offered at no cost to all VU employees.