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Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

by Erica Dhawan

Unabridged — 6 hours, 38 minutes

Erica Dhawan
Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

by Erica Dhawan

Unabridged — 6 hours, 38 minutes

Erica Dhawan

Audiobook (Digital)

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This program is read by the author.

The definitive guide to communicating and connecting in a hybrid world.

Email replies that show up a week later. Video chats full of “oops sorry no you go” and “can you hear me?!” Ambiguous text-messages. Weird punctuation you can't make heads or tails of. Is it any wonder communication takes us so much time and effort to figure out? How did we lose our innate capacity to understand each other?

Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but with most of our communication happening from behind a screen, traditional body language signals are no longer visible -- or are they? In Digital Body Language, Erica Dhawan, a go-to thought leader on collaboration and a passionate communication junkie, combines cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language across genders, generations, and culture. In real life, we lean in, uncross our arms, smile, nod and make eye contact to show we listen and care. Online, reading carefully is the new listening. Writing clearly is the new empathy. And a phone or video call is worth a thousand emails.

Digital Body Language will turn your daily misunderstandings into a set of collectively understood laws that foster connection, no matter the distance. Dhawan investigates a wide array of exchanges-from large conferences and video meetings to daily emails, texts, IMs, and conference calls-and offers insights and solutions to build trust and clarity to anyone in our ever changing world.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

“Good leaders increasingly need to nurture new sources of expertise and ideas beyond what they know ¿ to succeed and to be inspired. Get Big Things Done is just the guidebook for making the most use of your networks to spark change and meaning.” -- Beth Comstock, Former Vice Chair, GE

“As our interconnectedness grows, so does our collective responsibility to ask the hard questions. Get Big Things Done reminds us not only that our action and inaction can have enormous consequences, but that we have the tools we need to tackle the world's biggest problems. It is both an inspiration and provocation to create the world we of which we dream. Buy this book for yourself and share with others who want to act now.” -- Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Building trust among remote work teams is no small feat, advises executive coach Dhawan (Get Big Things Done) in this sharp, timely treatise on the importance of translating body language to the digital space. Nonverbal cues, she writes, make up such a large part of communication that learning to function without them is a new skill: virtual employees face “widespread misunderstanding and conflict,” which has led to anxiety, distrust, and paranoia. To counter this, Dhawan offers four laws of digital body language: value visibly, communicate carefully, collaborate confidently, and trust totally. She shows readers how to make colleagues feel valued without handshakes or in-person eye contact by, for instance, avoiding multitasking during meetings and sending emails in a rush; navigate power plays that come in the form of ambiguous digital communication such as overly-formal or one-word answers (she advises getting a second opinion when in doubt); and manage generational differences (understanding preferences is key for such decisions as when to use emoji). Dhawan’s high-energy advice comes right on time: “As we all know by now, video meetings are far from perfect, with many feeling decidedly uncollaborative... but there are ways around this.” Anyone trying to find their way through the new normal of office life will learn something from this real-world guide to respectful, productive communication. (May)

From the Publisher

This book is a welcome and practical guide to the ways in which we need to rethink how we interpret on-screen and inbox behaviour. Developing a common digital body language will help everyone—while also opening a path to better ways for all of us to relate to one another and create a sense of inclusion and belonging.” —Financial Times

“Fascinating, helpful, and engaging…Dhawan offers this timely book on digital body language and creative ways to foster inclusion and belonging in digital communications in the workplace.” —Booklist

“Dhawan’s high-energy advice comes right on time. Anyone trying to find their way through the new normal of office life will learn something from this real-world guide to respectful, productive communication.” —Publishers Weekly

“Written in an approachable style, this will be a useful resource for anyone who struggles with online communication.” Library Journal

"Digital Body Language is an indispensable guide to a business world turned upside down by video calls, group texts, and remote work. With Dhawan’s expert guidance, you’ll learn how to read and send the subtle cues that signal trust, competence, and authenticity. You’ll discover practical tips for using everything from exclamation points to emojis. Most of all, you’ll understand that that effective communication and collaboration begin with valuing others.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human

“A profound look at how to foster inclusion and better leadership in our digital world." —Billie Jean King, Founder, Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative

"Non-verbal cues are vital to understanding each other. Now that so much communication happens online—and with the massive shift to distance learning and remote workplaces—we need Erica Dhawan’s book more than ever." —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of Lean In and Option B

"One of the most common problems in digital life is that the intended message gets lost in translation, and we get trapped in an ongoing game of telephone. Erica Dhawan has compelling solutions to help us send and receive the right signals.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Originals, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

Digital Body Language brings us crucial insights and a playbook for communicating in our digital and virtual world!” —Alan Mulally, Former CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and the Ford Motor Company

"This book is a breakthrough that will be read for years to come. People are already judging you by how you show up in the digital world, but now Erica Dhawan helps you figure out how to earn the benefit of the doubt." —Seth Godin, Author, The Practice

"Digital Body Language is an extraordinary and essential book for our time. With powerful stories and fascinating research, Erica Dhawan masterfully shows that, even in our digital age, we can connect and make change together." —Susan David, author of Emotional Agility

"If you're e-mailing, zooming, IM-ing etc. in your important relationships and for getting things done, professionally and personally, this is a must-read. Bravo, Erica." —David Allen, international bestselling author of Getting Things Done

"Filled with lively and entertaining examples of real conversations, Digital Body Language gives you the tools to understand what can go wrong in communication—and to find a common language in which to strengthen relationships at work and at home. This book will change forever the way you approach digital conversations." —Tiffany Dufu, Founder of The Cru

“Erica Dhawan is a true master of one committed to success and teamwork can afford to miss this opportunity to learn from her.” —Erik Spoelstra, Head Coach of Miami Heat

“I love both the message and the messenger of this brilliant book. Listen to what Erica Dhawan has to say about digital body language—and then take her advice. This is the contemporary guidebook for inclusion and authenticity in the workplace, no matter our distance.” —Subha Barry, President of Working Mother Media

Trust is the ultimate currency in the digital age. This book is a must-read for leaders, offering tangible and authentic ways to strengthen trust and create a virtual work environment where people feel they truly belong." —Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources Officer, Accenture

“This book is a gigantic leap towards communicating well in the digital age. It is a mandatory guide for anyone who wants to decode all the cryptic messages we are sending and receiving and be a more effective communicator and collaborator online.” —Rob Nail, Co-Founder of Singularity University

“We are living at a time when becoming skilled in Digital Body Language is non negotiable. For everyone. It’s the digital application of emotional intelligence. I can’t think of anyone who would not benefit from reading this book.” —Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners and Author of Leading with Emotional Courage

“In a world where innovation increasingly happens on-line, we must unlock the full potential of digital conversations and avoid its plentiful traps. Digital Body Language shows you how.” —Alex Osterwalder, entrepreneur, business model innovator, and author

"A must-read for anyone wishing to introduce better communication and greater empathy in their workplace." —Pat Mitchell, Co-Founder; Curator TEDWomen; Chair, Sundance Institute and Women’s Media Center

Library Journal


The volume of email to be answered and the number of virtual communication channels to be monitored in today's working world are seemingly ever-increasing. The importance of communicating effectively in all of these spaces is now as important as doing so in person (if not more so). Dhawan (Get Big Things Done) seeks to help readers correctly decipher others' signals and project their own so that they are not misunderstood. In addition to explaining what this means and why it's useful, Dhawan details her four rules for communication—value visibly, communicate carefully, collaborate confidently, trust totally—and points out the ways in which differences of gender, generational group, or culture can influence communication. Some of the advice might not be appropriate for every workplace or profession (e.g., her suggestion to use all caps and multiple exclamation points to communicate urgency), but much of the content will be broadly applicable, in the vein of Thomas Zweifel's Communicate or Die and Kerry Patterson's Crucial Conversations. VERDICT Written in an approachable style, and organized such that readers can pick and choose sections that apply to their situation, this will be a useful resource for anyone who struggles with online communication.—Sara Holder, Univ. of Illinois Libs., Champaign

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177046518
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 06/22/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews