Context of Virtual Communication

By Canadian Management Centre

The context of communication is as important as the message.  When communicating virtually, so much context can be lost causing frustration, misunderstandings and impacting productivity.   

The more context is required, the more visual and vocal cues will make a difference. For example, if you’re confirming whether a group has received your proposal or you’re setting the time for a meeting, then email or text is fine because it’s pretty straightforward. On the other hand, if you need to discuss who’s going to take on roles/tasks during this time of disruption, you’ll want to use whatever is closest to face-to-face communication (e.g. a video conference). Then, you can hear and see the emotions at play; gauge immediate reactions and responses; and get a sense of each person’s physical space and reality (e.g. working at the kitchen table while the kids are running around). All these pieces of context help you react with more empathy and clarity.

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