Common Digital Miscommunications… And How To Avoid Them | HBR

Reference: Harvard Business Review. (2020, April 16). Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them [Video]. YouTube.

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Avoid digital miscommunications and learn how to hit the right tone in your online conversations with this helpful video!

Paige Cohen of Harvard Business Review discusses common digital miscommunications and how to avoid them in this video. She provides tips on how to ensure your communication is effective and professional, such as checking for typos and using punctuation and emojis cautiously. Additionally, be mindful of when you send a message and respect others' "do not disturb" settings. If you are upset by a message, take a moment to think through your thoughts before responding. Following these tips will help you maintain professional relationships with your team and other contacts.

Learning Outline

1. Typos can send a negative message.
2. Read the message out loud before sending it.
3. Punctuation matters, especially with short sentences or phrases.
4. Emojis can be helpful, but use with caution.
5. Slack messages should include a time frame.
6. Respect someone's "do not disturb" message.
7. Wait before responding to an upsetting message.

Instructional Content

We all rely on digital communication more and more each day, but it can be difficult to make sure the right message is being sent. Miscommunication can be common in digital communication, but there are a few tips that can help ensure that the right message is sent and that the tone is appropriate.

Typos can send the wrong message, so it is important to take the time to read your message before you send it. Punctuation matters, especially with short sentences or phrases, as it can give things a finality that may come off as negative. Emojis, used with caution, can help to clarify your message and make it appear lighter.

When using Slack, it is a good idea to give the person you are messaging a time frame for when you need a response. This is especially true when messaging someone who has the “Do Not Disturb” setting on. Lastly, if you receive a message that upsets you, it is best to wait before you respond.

Digital communication can be tricky, but with these tips, you can make sure that the right message is sent and that the tone is appropriate. By taking the time to read messages before sending them, using punctuation and emojis, and giving people time frames for when you need a response, you can avoid common digital miscommunications.


Navigating Digital Conversations

When it comes to developing effective communication skills, digital literacy, and communication etiquette, the video “Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them” provides a comprehensive guide to helping learners improve their communication in a digital environment.

When communicating digitally, it is important to be mindful of typos, as they can give off the wrong impression or tone. Before sending a message, it is advisable to read it out loud to catch any errors. Paying attention to punctuation is also important, as it can convey finality and even anger if used in shorter phrases. Emojis can be used to lighten the mood and clarify your message.

When using Slack or other platforms, it is important to provide a timeframe when asking for something so the recipient knows when to respond. Additionally, respect the “do not disturb” message when it appears, even if you are anxious to get your project done.

Finally, if a message you receive upsets you, wait before responding. Taking time to think through your thoughts will help you respond with clarity and calm.

In order to ensure learners are equipped with the necessary communication skills for the digital world, it is important to implement the tips provided in this video. By following these tips, learners will be able to communicate clearly and efficiently, while also being mindful of communication etiquette.

Communication Etiquette

"Fixing Digital Miscommunication?"

The rise of digital communication has drastically changed the way we interact with one another and upskilling yourself to be successful in personal growth and professional development requires an understanding of digital etiquette. According to a recent survey, 2 out of 3 people are more likely to take offense to digital communication than they are in person. This makes it even more critical to ensure that we are communicating in a way that is clear and concise, but also respectful and productive.

The video, “Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them”, outlines four key tips for communicating more effectively in a digital world. Firstly, typos can send a message, so it’s important to proofread before sending. Secondly, punctuation matters, particularly with short sentences or phrases, since a period at the end could be misconstrued as abrupt or negative. Thirdly, emojis can be used to clarify your message and add lightheartedness. And lastly, give people a time frame when responding to messages, and respect their “do not disturb” settings.

These tips are essential for successful professional development and personal growth. For example, when you communicate with respect, people are more likely to respond in kind, leading to better relationships and more successful outcomes. Additionally, taking the time to proofread and giving people a time frame shows that you are detail-oriented and organized, which are great qualities to have in the workplace.

Upskilling yourself in digital etiquette is an important part of personal growth and professional development. By following the four tips outlined in the video, you can ensure that you are communicating in the most effective and respectful way possible.

Effective Communication

"Effective Communication: Why Care?"

In today’s digital world, effective communication has become a cornerstone of personal growth and professional development. The quality of our communication, both online and offline, can have a major impact on our success. To upskill ourselves and become more successful, we must understand the nuances and potential pitfalls of digital miscommunication. This video helps us understand common digital miscommunications and provides us with helpful tips and strategies to avoid them.

Statistics show that nearly 95% of all communication is nonverbal, which means that the tone and context of our messages can easily be misconstrued when sent digitally. Typos, punctuation, and emojis can all have an impact on the message we send and how it is received. By reading our messages out loud before sending them, we can ensure that our message is clear and that the right tone is being communicated. Additionally, respecting the “do not disturb” messaging of our colleagues is important to preserving our relationships.

To illustrate the importance of digital communication, consider the case of two colleagues working on the same project. If one colleague sends a message with a typo, the other may take it to mean that the message sender is in a rush and that their response is not important. On the other hand, if the message sender uses an emoji to soften the tone of the message, then the other colleague may interpret it differently.

In conclusion, effective digital communication is an important skill to master in order to achieve success in personal growth and professional development. By understanding the common digital miscommunications and following the tips outlined in this video, we can upskill ourselves and become better communicators.

Digital Literacy

Avoid Digital Miscommunication?

As technology continues to advance, it is increasingly important to stay up to date on digital literacy skills. Digital miscommunications can be avoided if we take the time to upskill ourselves and understand the nuances of digital communication. We can improve our digital literacy skills by following the advice in the video Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them.

The video makes several key points about digital communication. Typos can send unintended messages, so it’s important to read messages out loud before sending them. Punctuation matters, and it can be helpful to use emojis thoughtfully to better convey the message. It is also important to be mindful of the platform you are using and the time frame you are expecting a response. Lastly, if someone sends you an upsetting message, it is best to take a step back and respond thoughtfully.

These tips can help you improve your digital literacy skills, which can lead to both personal and professional success. Studies have shown that effective digital communication is essential for job performance and career advancement. By upskilling yourself in digital literacy, you can better navigate digital conversations with confidence. Moreover, it can help you build relationships with colleagues and clients, and ensure that you are communicating the right message with the right tone.

Ultimately, upskilling yourself in digital literacy is essential for personal growth and professional development. By understanding and following the advice in the video Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them, you can improve your digital communication skills and be more successful in both your personal and professional life.

For Learners

Watching this video has many positive benefits. By learning the strategies presented, one can equip themselves with the knowledge to avoid common digital miscommunications. This will benefit the individual in many ways, from having more successful personal and professional relationships to more effective communication when working with colleagues and teams. It will also help them to avoid any embarrassing mistakes that could have been avoided by understanding digital miscommunication.

On the other hand, not learning the content presented in this video can have a negative detriment. Without understanding digital miscommunications, people can easily make mistakes that could result in offending someone or having a misunderstanding. This can cause tension in the workplace and lead to a negative working environment.

By utilizing the ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘what’s in it for them’, ‘what’s in it for us’, and ‘what’s in it for the world’ approach to learning the content of this video, one can benefit from the personal growth and professional development it brings. This video can help the individual to better understand how to communicate effectively, build strong relationships, and avoid miscommunications. This will in turn benefit the individual, their colleagues, and their organization, as well as the world at large.

For Employers

As an employer, watching this video and learning the content it contains is an important step in ensuring successful communication between you and your team, as well as between you and your clients and customers. From avoiding typos and using the right punctuation to being mindful of the ‘do not disturb’ message and using emojis cautiously, the tips in this video help differentiate between you and the computer. They help you stand out as a thoughtful, mindful communicator and show your clients and customers that you’re capable of understanding their needs.

The future of communication is changing quickly, and this video can help you stay ahead of the curve. By learning the concepts in this video and how to avoid digital miscommunications, you’ll be able to effectively interact with your team and customers in a way that helps them trust your business. Moreover, you’ll be able to ensure that your business is well-positioned to succeed in the digital age.

Ultimately, by watching this video and learning how to avoid common digital miscommunications, you’ll be better positioned for the present, the past, and the future. You’ll be able to better understand and meet the needs of your team and customers, and you’ll be able to stand out from the competition by showing that you understand the importance of effective communication.

Career Path

Completing a course in communication based on competencies like Communication Etiquette, Effective Communication and Digital Literacy can be a great step towards finding a job or getting a promotion at current employment. It can help individuals close the Skills Gap towards Meaningful Work in the future and make them more employable and promotable.

Watching the video “Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them” and its transcript can be a great way to level up and gain income-producing skills for better employability. It can help individuals avoid digital miscommunications, which can often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help them to be more mindful of the importance of punctuation and the impact of typos. It can also help them to be aware of the importance of respecting the “do not disturb” message of others.

By watching this video and its transcript, life long learners can gain valuable knowledge about how to communicate effectively in a digital environment. This can help them to become more employable and promotable in high demand, high growth industries. It can also help them to make a meaningful impact on their career path and attain career-defining credentials. In short, this video and its transcript can help individuals gain the skills they need to make the most of their career.


"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote is especially relevant to the video because it emphasizes the importance of communication. When we don't communicate clearly or effectively, we risk damaging relationships with our friends and colleagues. Digital miscommunication can be especially damaging because it's easy to misinterpret the tone or emotion of a message.

It's important for learners and employers to remember to take the time to communicate clearly. Typos and punctuation matters, and using an emoji occasionally can help lighten the mood. Before sending a message, take a few moments to pause and read it out loud. This simple step can help avoid misunderstandings that can cause unnecessary tension.

Finally, it's important to respect boundaries. If someone has their "do not disturb" mode on, respect their space and wait for them to reach out. This kind of respect is essential for creating and maintaining strong relationships.


The most important takeaway from this video is to be mindful of typos, punctuation and use of emojis as these can all influence the tone and meaning of our digital communication. Being respectful of others' "do not disturb" settings, taking the time to read messages aloud, and waiting to respond to messages that upset us can also help us express ourselves more effectively.

Common Digital Miscommunications — and How to Avoid Them

Communicating digitally can be tricky - it's easy to accidentally offend someone or send the wrong message. To help, here's a few tips! Typos can make you seem extra angry or rushed, so make sure to read the message out loud before you send it. Punctuation matters too - a period can make a short phrase seem rude. Emojis can help show your tone, and be careful when messaging someone with a "Do Not Disturb" sign - respect their space and wait to respond. Like driving a car, use caution and you'll get to where you're going without any bumps!

Video Quotes

1. "Any emotional state that you're in, typos can make it seem like, for example, if you're angry, that you're even more angry." - Paige Cohen

2. "Punctuation actually really matters, especially with short sentences or phrases. It gives things kind of a finality that can come off as negative when you put a period on the end of short phrases." - Paige Cohen

3. "It's best to just wait to respond. Once you have a little time to just think through your thoughts, you're going to be able to respond with a little bit more clarity and with more calm." - Paige Cohen

Related Quotes

"Digital communication, if it's done well, can be glorious." - Leslie O’Flahavan

"People are more likely to misunderstand each other when they don't have access to nonverbal cues." - Leslie O’Flahavan

"When we communicate online, we're missing out on a lot of information that can help us understand each other better." - Leslie O’Flahavan


1. Communication Etiquette
2. Effective Communication
3. Digital Literacy

Learning Outcomes

1. Analyze the impact of typos on digital communications.
2. Evaluate the effects of punctuation on the tone of a message.
3. Apply the appropriate use of emojis to avoid miscommunication.
4. Synthesize strategies for avoiding an urgent tone on Slack.
5. Create an appropriate time frame for responding on Slack.
6. Evaluate the benefits of waiting to respond to an upsetting message.

Sample Answers

1. I have learned that typos can be misinterpreted and give off the wrong message. It is important to ensure that messages are proofread before sending.

2. I have learned that punctuation can be very important when it comes to digital communication. Placing a period after a short sentence can come off as abrupt or negative.

3. I have also learned that emojis can be useful when used with caution. They can help clarify the tone of the message and make it feel lighter.

Paige Cohen

Paige Cohen is the Director of Customer Success Leadership at Gong, an artificial intelligence-powered platform for sales teams. Cohen is an expert in customer success and digital miscommunications, with a background in sales, customer success, product, and customer service. She has a long history of helping companies build efficient and effective customer success programs. Cohen is an expert on digital miscommunications because she has worked with companies to help them understand their customers better and create better digital experiences. Gong

Learning Design

Communication etiquette, effective communication, and digital literacy are important competencies to learn in any communication course. Communication etiquette helps students to understand the expectations and norms of communicating with others. It also includes understanding the appropriate way to interact with others, including using polite language, maintaining personal space, and using appropriate body language. Effective communication helps students to convey their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in an effective manner to another person or group. It involves learning the proper ways to listen, ask questions, and understand the other person’s perspective. Digital literacy helps students to understand how to use various digital technologies to communicate and collaborate. This includes learning how to use social media, email, and other communication tools safely and appropriately.

In order to build these competencies, a variety of instructional frameworks and pedagogies can be used. Active learning strategies, such as role-playing and simulations, help to develop communication etiquette. To develop effective communication, students can practice through activities like group discussions, debates, and presentations. To build digital literacy, students can engage in activities such as creating tutorials, participating in virtual meetings, and researching online resources. Additionally, students can receive feedback and coaching from teachers and peers to help them develop their communication skills.


Multiple-Choice Exam Question:

Which of the following is the best way to avoid miscommunication while communicating digitally?

A) Type without typos

B) Avoid punctuation

C) Use emojis

D) Include time frames

Answer: A) Type without typos


Common Hypothetical Questions:
1. What are some common digital miscommunications, and how can they be avoided?
2. What are some tips for ensuring that the right tone is communicated when sending digital messages?
3. Why is it important to proofread digital messages before sending them?
4. What are the benefits of using emojis in digital communication?

Real-Life Scenarios:
1. How can digital communication be used effectively to communicate with team members?
2. How can you ensure that your message is taken seriously when communicating digitally?
3. What are some tips for communicating respectfully in a virtual work environment?
4. What can be done to ensure that “do not disturb” requests are respected in a digital environment?


Avoid Digital Miscommunication, Working from Home Communication, Emojis Clarifying Message, Respect "Do Not Disturb", Respond with Clarity


1. Typos can give the wrong impression of your emotional state.
2. Reading messages aloud can help catch errors.
3. Punctuation can change the tone of a message.
4. Emojis can help express tone and clarify messages.
5. Respect the "do not disturb" message on Slack.


1. Create a blog post or video series focused on common digital miscommunications and how to avoid them.
2. Develop an online course emphasizing the importance of written communication in the workplace and how to use it effectively.
3. Create a webinar or online panel discussion about how to use emojis in business communication.
4. Develop an infographic or interactive presentation about the different digital communication styles used in various industries.


This learning instructional guidance was formulated using the GPT-3 language model created by OpenAI.


Digital miscommunications are common, but avoidable. Simple steps such as reading messages out loud, avoiding typos, and using punctuation & emojis can help you hit the right tone. Respect DNDs & take a moment if a message upsets you. #communication #digital #tips #emojis #dnd #socialmedia @Accredicity

Earn Credentials for Upskilling Yourself with Videos from YouTube

At Accredicity, you can gamify your Lifelong Learning, with Cred, in order to earn Stackable Credentials and Undergraduate Certificates from Bite-Size Education.



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