Digital Body Language Summary And Review

CommunicationPersonal Development

1-Line Summary: Digital Body Language by Erica Dhawan helps you learn subtle cues and signals that we unconsciously give while communicating digitally. And thus helps you avoid any misunderstandings.

Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
655 Reviews
Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dhawan, Erica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 05/11/2021 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

About the author

Erica Dhawan has studied human innovation and collaboration for over 15 years.

She is an author, entrepreneur, and award-winning keynote speaker.

Learn more about her on her website.

Digital Body Language Summary [PDF]

Gone are the days when we used to meet physically for a meeting.

Now, most of us use apps like Zoom for video calls.

We now love to chat with our friends instead of calling.

But nobody taught us how to communicate digitally in an effective manner.

Many people still struggle to adapt to this digital body language.

In this digital age, where there are so many mediums and ways, it becomes difficult to figure out how to deliver your message in the best way.

In this book summary, you will learn how you can communicate effectively with your teammates or colleagues using digital mediums. And avoid embarrassing mistakes.

This is not just any regular summary, these are the lessons that I have learned after reading this book multiple times, and thus it packs more insights.

Okay, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.

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Lesson #1: Digital body language is way different than traditional body language.

In traditional body language, non-verbal cues matter a lot.

They comprise approx 70-80% of total communication.

Things like handshakes, eye movements, etc., tell the other persons how we are entirely at the moment.

But in the case of digital communication, there are only text, emojis, and Gifs these days.

So we don’t realize what the other person is feeling.

People today can easily fake their emotions.

For example, if your words hurt someone, he may send you a smiley emoji and hide his true feelings.

That’s why today, it’s tough to understand the other person’s true feelings while communicating via any digital medium.

Plus, when you talk in person, you answer in real-time.

But when you talk digitally, there is no time limit.

Many people don’t bother to reply unless the other person has more power or authority.

For example, a person might not reply to his friend’s message. But he will definitely respond to his boss’s message unless he would like to risk his job.

Also, it’s tough to make people trust through digital mediums.

We tend to trust people more when we have met them face-to-face.

Because while texting, we can’t see a person’s face. At the back of our minds, we are insecure about who we are communicating with.

That’s not a problem once we know it for sure.

Also, it’s hard to convey your emotions to the other person.

Sometimes, we are busy or misread sentences as we tend to skim when we read anything online.

The complexities of digital mediums only increase when we add more and more people to the conversation.

It’s also confusing to decide which channel is for a particular type of conversation.

The more and more people are talking with each other online, we must learn how to communicate effectively with confidence and earn other people’s trust through our carefully written words.

Today, which emoji or punctuation marks we use matter more than our body language or non-verbal cues in traditional body language.

Lesson #2: Understand the power and trust dynamics between you and the other person.

The author talks about the power and trust matrix in this book.

Before you talk to a person, you must know where you stand in terms of power and how much trust there is in your relationship.

There could be four scenarios (as stated in the book):

  • “You have high power, but low trust.”
  • “You have low power, but high trust.”
  • “You have high power and high trust.”
  • “You have less power and less trust.”

It depends on the person you are talking to.

If the other person is your boss, you have less power.

And if you are the other person’s boss, you have more power.

When it comes to trust, the more trust there is between you and the other person, the more informal you can be. And the communication would be quick.

Imagine your boss sends you a vague email.

How would you respond?

In this case, if the trust between both of you is high, you can be quick and ask your boss to provide clarification.

But if the trust is less, you can be a bit formal in your message and request your boss to provide clarification.

Note the word “clarification.”

Clarity is the key to effective communication.

The power and Trust matrix won’t help if you are not communicating clearly.

Without clarity, there is no understanding between both parties participating in digital communication.

Also, don’t be disappointed if the other person doesn’t trust you. People have their own ways of judging others.

You don’t need to control another person’s thoughts. Sometimes, people won’t trust you. They will doubt your every word.

That’s okay. Don’t let this discourage you from being a better communicator.

You have to try your best to increase your trust and be clear in what you are saying.

Lesson #3: Choose the right medium and channel to convey your message based on the situation or need.

Often people choose the wrong means of communication.

For example, if you are in a hurry, you should not send an email and wait for a reply. Instead, you should directly call the person or ask for a meeting on Zoom or any other application.

In an urgent case, a text-based message won’t help and instead increase confusion as you won’t have much time to read and explain adequately.

On the flip side, if there is no urgency, you can send a nice email to your colleague and allow them to reply at their own pace.

Again, it depends on the other person. If there is high trust between you and the other person, then it’s much easier to call instantly without bothering much.

When you are doing professional communication, usually email is preferred.

It is very common for businesses or organizations to maintain most digital communication via email.

It’s always better to have a professional email instead of using Gmail.

A professional email helps you build trust quickly by making an excellent first impression.

The thing is:

People have stereotypes.

So they judge a lot based on their first impression and pre-existing beliefs. And unfortunately, it can’t be changed.

For instance, the author’s name is Erica Dhawan.

She also faces a similar problem. Whenever she goes on a meeting after having an email conversation, people expect an Indian woman. But in reality, she is not.

In the same way, when people see a professional email (like, they instantly make judgments about the person sending that email.

So always pick the suitable medium for conversation.

The same message may be perceived differently based on which channel or medium you are using to communicate.

The same message when sent via email looks more professional than when sent on Whatsapp or Messenger.

Lesson #4: Avoid any sort of confusion.

The author talks about many cues that we all send while sending messages.

The problem is:

Many people don’t even realize that they are sending those subtle signals.

For example:

When you are replying quickly to a person, you show that you take the conversation seriously and value the other person’s time.

On the flip side, if you are delaying a lot to reply, it signals that you have an ego or don’t give much priority to the conversation.

This is just an example. There is no guarantee what a person might think.

People think differently.

Another example is:

Let’s say you are don’t bother about formalities and are very direct in what you say. Some people might like it, while some might get offended by it and think you are rude.

See how these subtle things affect our relationships?

That’s why you must pay attention to your digital behavior.

The best way to avoid confusion is to write clearly and think before you type.

After you type, check if you have written everything correctly or not.

Think about who you are sending the message to.

Will the other person understand you correctly?

Is there any word that may confuse the other person?

Tell people in your message and give them an idea if you want an urgent reply or tell them that they have so and so days to reply.

The better the person on the other side understands your message and expectations, the smoother the flow of information will be while communicating.

Using these simple techniques, you can minimize confusion and avoid unwanted misunderstandings.

Especially in workplaces, even minor misunderstandings can create disasters.

The author talks about carefully using Cc and Bcc while emailing anyone. If there is no need to include other people in your conversation, don’t add people in Cc or Bcc section.

Also, pay attention to who you add there. Both Cc and Bcc are for different purposes. Understand how and when they are used.

The author has explained their use very beautifully in this book.

Lesson #5: Appreciate the other person’s time while talking digitally.

These days, people have a terrible habit of using ultra-short words like:

  • ‘k’ or ‘kk…’ for ‘okay’
  • ‘am’ for ‘I’m’
  • ‘….’ for so many things.
  • mm… hm… hmmm….

These are great to save time.

But they often hurt the feelings of other people. These time-saving letters don’t show appreciation for the time of other people.

Imagine you wrote a 500-word email to someone, and the other person replies, ’k… will c.’

This is disheartening, isn’t it?

You spent a lot of time thinking about your message, and the other person didn’t even bother to write even a single sentence.

It signals that the other person doesn’t acknowledge your effort or prioritizes other things.

This is a lesson every person needs to learn these days.

We should not take other people’s time for granted.

If someone is giving his/her time to you, you should try to show some appreciation by using phrases like “Thank you so much.” or “I appreciate you.”

But remember, don’t overuse these phrases.

Otherwise, it looks weird and confuses the other person.

Not only do these time-saving letters (like “k” for “okay”) hurt the other person’s feelings, they also confuse the other person.

Remember, while communicating via text, you only have words and emojis to express your emotions. The person on the other side can’t see your body or face.

That’s why one should put extra care while texting or emailing.

Always appreciate people for their time and work.

This also helps in strengthening relationships and builds trust.

Digital Body Language Review

Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
655 Reviews
Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dhawan, Erica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 05/11/2021 (Publication Date) – St. Martin’s Press (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This book is a must-read for professionals who work in any organization.

It’s also best for leaders who want to improve their digital communication skills.

The good thing about this book is:

You don’t get bored. The author has plenty of stories where people messed up due to their lack of knowledge of digital body language. Those stories will entertain you and encourage you to read more.

The bad thing about this book is:

The content is very repetitive. The author repeats the same ideas multiple times across various chapters, which I think was unnecessary.

I recommend that you also watch the course by the author on Digital Body Language on LinkedIn.

Here is the special link that takes you to the course.

You can watch the course for free as my unique link gives you 1-Month Free access to LinkedIn Premium.

Overall, this book was a good read.

My rating: 6/10

Grab this book on Amazon: Hardcover | Paperback | Audiobook

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The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social EncounterThe Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter

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Now it’s your turn

I hope you enjoyed reading this summary.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think about digital body language.

Have you ever faced any problems while communicating digitally? How did you solve it?

I would love to hear about your experience.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter and my YouTube channel to get animated book summaries.

Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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