• Digital Body Language

  • How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance
  • By: Erica Dhawan
  • Narrated by: Erica Dhawan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Erica Dhawan (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Digital Body Language

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A great guide with one important piece omitted

I was drawn to this book in part because I’m a comms director at a mid-live startup company and need to know the subject. The author covered a lot of ground but as usual with “inclusivity” talk, she forgot to look at the way people with varying disabilities deal with digital body language. I think this could be fairly easily added with some research. I did feel a bit lectured to at points with the audio narrative but good info to have an review from time to time.

6 people found this helpful

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Base and neurotic

The core communication and psychological concepts noted in this book are part of general socialization parents and teachers provide to children. The author does do a good job of peeling back layers of anxiety individuals face in light of formerly clear communication queues, such as the lowly period, which now have no universal meaning serving only to create chaos. AP guides exist for a reason; formal communication styles are best if consistent and not constantly bent to the whims of individuals. In the rating system of a famous author, I give this book minus two pugs.

2 people found this helpful

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Great For Business and Older Generations, Not Much Else.

I got this because my partner and I have been separated by at least an hour (or more) of freeway for our entire three (going on four) year relationship. Almost all of our arguments occur because of miscommunications over text, and I bought this hoping it would provide some incite. I hate to say it, but it really didn’t.

This book is entirely focused on digital communication as it applies to and effects business. It says “all relationships,” likely in an attempt to get people like me to buy a copy, which seems somewhat unnecessary as I haven’t found any other book like it. I’m sure the stuff in here would be very helpful to someone building a business or is already running one. I’m also relatively sure that the “In a long term, committed and long distance relationship and only getting into arguments due to texting mishaps” is a very small niche. I didn’t expect this to go into my specific situation, but I expected at least one chapter to be about more intimate relationships other than business, remote teams, and evaluating whether or not your team respects and trust you. I would have accepted intimate, adjacent, such as communicating with family.

Some of the stuff could translate, but most of it is highly specific to business. What could translate to intimate relationships is readily available in a more easily digestible format on social media, like TikTok, and surprisingly offered with more detail.

The author narrates the book herself, and she is engaging to listen to. However I couldn’t escape the feeling that this was intended for an older audience. Being a “damned millennial” the vast majority of this book was known, either logically, or intuitively. There were a few interesting facts and engaging ideas along the way, but nothing surprising and nothing ever went so far as to make me think, “Wow! Really?” In truth, nothing stands out in my mind as “memorable” about it.

Would I recommend this book to someone running an expanding business, starting a business, looking into using remote teams or switching to an entirely remote work pipeline? ABSOLUTELY! However, if that person was a Millennial or Gen Z, and haven’t been completely ignoring the internet, I’d probably recommend different books.

Unless you are specifically looking for tips, tools and systems to navigate online communication with multiple remote teams, working across time zones, and navigating the myriad of cultural differences that can crop up electronically; or are part of an older generation finding yourself needing a helping hand in adapting to a new work landscape…this book probably won’t be as helpful as you’d like.

1 person found this helpful

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Don't waste your time or money

This book is awful. Clif Notes: doesn't matter what you do or say in the digital space, someone will be offended because they interpret things differently. The author calls her readers biased against others while proclaiming bias, racism, sexism, ageism and more preconceived notions about people and cultures. Provides no guidance or information of any value.

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Irrelevant :) & annoyingly dramatic 🤷🏻‍♂️

Very junior and basic information, this *might* be good for a recent graduate finding his/her way in a first job.
However, if you’re someone with 20-30 yrs experience successfully building and leading teams and developing leaders you might have to force yourself through the chapters hoping to hear something new and useful, which might be a struggle :)
For me it was overly dramatic (annoying lol) and neurotic (similar to what another reviewer said).

I’m thankful to Audible’s refund policy :)

The teams I’ve been part of and led got far more applicable and timelessly useful information from the Carnegie classic HTWF&IF and from Exactly What To Say.

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Very informative!

Thrust into digital communications, I was pleased to have come acrossed this book, which no only provided clarity into what I was was experiencing, but insight into what I was creating . I highly recommend.

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Excellent content!

This is a "must listen / read" to more effectively communicate in a digital world!

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A must read for all organizations!

After reading this book, I ordered copies for all of my team members and had them read it too! I followed up with an all staff retreat to discuss and formulate plans to build our skills in the most meaningful ways based on the 4 pillars outline. Thank you Erica for such a great book, I have read many and this one really stood out! Sincerely, Dr. Patricia Hohlbein

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Find out what you don’t know

Interesting and enlightening book. There is a lot in here that I wasn’t fully aware of and I felt that it’s going to be of great benefit to pretty much anyone who is communicating digitally across the world.

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Essential Insights and Practical Actions to Improve Anyone’s Digital Communication

Absolute must read and enjoyable read/listen—why?

•Diverse Cultural Insights across age, gender, authority, geography, digital nativity, etc. necessary to build trust and connection.
•Relatable experiences covered will validate your own experience and give you fresh perspective for the future.
•Well informed storytelling, organizational and anecdotal supporting examples provide great actionable insights for any phase of your personal or professional life.
•”Geriatric Millennial” is only used once (by my count) as the author refers to herself late in the book.

The viral #GeriatricMillennial moment is also how I became introduced to Erica Dhawan’s work on Digital Body Language.

Fortunately the book’s publisher put a hard copy in my hand so I could see the true value of Erica Dhawan’s Digital Body Language in entirety. To maximize its input, I happily paid to add it to my Audible library so I could listen at the gym. And again in the future!

Expect this book to find its way to curriculums in business management, marketing, internal comms, leadership, etc. and a steppingstone to diversity and inclusion topics.