Today’s Book of the Day is Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance, written by Erica Dhawan in 2021 and published by St Martin’s Press.

Erica Dhawan is a worldwide expert and keynote speaker about leadership. She helps organizations and leaders innovate. She contributed to several publications as those by Fast Company and Harvard Business Review. She has an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, MBA from MIT Sloan, and BS from The Wharton School.

Digital Body Language, by Erica Dhawan

I have chosen this book because I advocated, supported, and used remote working since 1997 when I first started adopting it with my customers.

This book has an ambitious goal: to be an essential, maybe the essential tool to provide the readers with practical guidance on how to better communicate and connect in a hybrid world.

For sure, the pandemic helped companies and individuals to take the leap of faith toward digital and hybrid meetings and workplaces after almost a decade of hesitancy.

This opportunity, alas, clearly showed how many were simply not prepared for this reality, and so business communication became, in the first days of remote working, an endless series of “can you hear me?”, “my connection is bad”, “your mic is off!” and so on. Add to this all the emails that were written as if they were in-person dialogues, providing not enough context or info to avoid uncertainty.

How is possible that digital communication is so difficult to figure out? Is that possible that we are unable to convey a clear message if we are not in front of our interlocutor?

Erica Dhawan, a global expert in cooperation and effective communication gives her extremely valuable contribution to the matter, with this book.

In it, the readers will find state-of-the-art research mixed with an elegant, engaging, mind-provoking writing style that will help them to become aware and read the “new” digital body language.

When we are in the same space with the people we are talking to we are able to read the signals they send us with their bodies, posture, and eye contact. We know how to properly listen and how to interact.
When we are online, things are different. We must develop new skills such as giving more attention to reading and writing clearly, making a purposeful video meeting, and learning how to engage people remotely.

Dhawan shows that when the reader grasps a few key concepts, these can be adopted from small talk to webinars, online conferences, and video meetings. Once the reader will have understood the key to digital communication, writing an effective email message or preparing a presentation will be no longer an issue.

What this book does extremely well is to teach a practical way to feel again that positive sense of inclusion and belonging by rethinking how we behave when we communicate online.

The readers will be guided into learning how to understand, read, and use online the essential signals that will show and give our audience trust, knowledge, and empathy.

I recommend this book to everyone, as it will help everyone in developing a brand new digital body language.


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