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Effective virtual online communication

Dr. Moria Levy
person speaking with a tin in his hand

It is so obvious, and yet I never thought about it. When we speak about effective virtual online communication, the first thing to do is distinguish between synchronous and asynchronous communication.

Effective communication of these two channels may share some attributes, yet there are many principles and tools that are relevant only to one of them and not to the other.

So, what are my top 5 for each?


Effective Virtual Online Communication

It is so obvious, and yet I never thought about it. When we discuss effective virtual online communication, we should distinguish between synchronous and asynchronous communication. Although effective communication in these two channels may share some attributes, many principles and tools are relevant only to one of them and not to the other. So, what are my top 5 for each?


Synchronous Communication:
  1. Time matters! Make sure to be punctual.

  2. Take some time for interpersonal relations; it may seem distracting, but it leads to efficiency.

  3. Even though synchronous, enable multi-modal channels, encouraging every person to be active and share their ideas most conveniently.

  4. Asking questions is a great way to communicate, improving understanding, being on the same page, and fostering non-linear thinking.

  5. Provide a secure place for people to share unbaked thoughts, even mistakes. Please don't take it for granted.


Asynchronous Communication:
  1. Think smart: choose the proper channels for communication after understanding the needs and analyzing the advantages as well as the convenience of each solution.

  2. Be clear! It's easy to be misunderstood when you're asynchronous, especially when people have different cultural codes.

  3. From time to time, stop to summarize, bringing everyone back to the same page.

  4. Use gestures! They are efficient, require less energy than typing, and can help support the message and make everyone feel better.

  5. Only write short messages; people have lives!


Thank you @Olga Smirnov and Madanmohan Rao, for leading the Knowledge Management Global Network session on the new collaboration course


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