The digital age has seen amazing advancements in communication technology. While it is now easier than ever before to collaborate and communicate, grammar has suffered as a result. Things like autocorrect and predictive text have made us lazy and we have stopped paying close attention to the things we are saying. Sometimes we don’t even notice until after the fact.
We now expect technology to let us know when we have made a mistake, instead of relying on our own knowledge. Professional communication has declined and may continue to decline unless some businesses take a stand, and refuse to allow their employees to use less formal communication styles. If businesses set a few rules about the communications that occur within their company, it can go a long way to combat this slide into informality.
There are some great resources available that help users spot mistakes they may have missed. One tool that has proved useful is Grammarly. This application can be installed as a plugin on your browser and will alert you to any grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes you make within web applications. As more companies use SaaS applications to perform daily tasks, web integration is a must-have. Almost any field within a website can be scanned for grammar errors.
Applications like Office 365 also have built-in grammar and spelling checks that can let you know when you have made mistakes and suggest fixes and changes. Technology can be like a little angel on your shoulder letting you know when you’ve made a mistake.
Use Your Voice
As good as the technology is, sometimes it’s not perfect. Applications like Grammarly should not be completely relied on to fix all of your mistakes. All employees should be required to read any paragraphs written, out loud, at least once. Sometimes even your brain can skip over mistakes when you are reading it back to yourself. Reading what you have written out loud can help you catch any of those mistakes that your brain has glossed over.
Use Your Brain
Before you press send or submit, make sure you read the entire thing back to yourself at least one more time. Take a deep breath to help clear your mind before you begin. This is especially helpful if you have written something emotionally charged. Gut reactions can sometimes cause big problems. At the moment, you may be angry or hurt, and that will be reflected in your notes or communication. Clearing your mind can help you calm down a bit, and allow you the chance to edit the text before the entire situation becomes blown out of proportion.
Check for Tone
As a follow up to the previous tip about taking a breath, make sure to also check your text for tone. Feelings and expressions cannot be communicated properly over technology. Something that may be clearly sarcastic to you, could be taken out of context and cause problems for those who read it. Make sure your point is clear and concise and leaves no room for misinterpretation.
Setting up these rules within your business can even help internal morale as employees understand the point each user is actually trying to get across. It may even help your company stand out from the rest of the pack as the company with excellent communication skills.