Entrepreneurial Pro Tip #5

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Use Technology but Think Face-To-Face

By Delano Garner

Without a doubt, a larger and larger percentage of our communication is happening via technology, and that percentage is only going to increase as we continue to advance. As entrepreneurs, we want to embrace technology rather than resist it. I try to make friends with all the latest technology coming down the pipeline, whether it’s social media platforms or other technological tools that help me get my work done more efficiently.

While technology can be an excellent tool for communication, it’s the personal relationships you build through practiced communication skills that make the difference. When you use technology – send an email, write a Tweet, post on Facebook – it's essential to be as respectful in those interactions as you would face to face. In fact, you may want to be even more cautious about how you communicate because with much of that technology, once you put something out into the world, you might not be able to pull it back.

A message sent via social media, or even email or text messaging, can easily be misconstrued on screen because of the absence of body language. Sarcasm may be fine during face-to-face conversations, but it’s harder to pick up on it in a text message; something intended as a joke could come across as offensive. Verbal flexibility can, and should, be applied to technology, too. However, as entrepreneurs, it's important to realize that when we engage online, we often do so publicly. In order to protect your professional branding, you should always err on the side of using your "professional" voice.