Articles, Thoughts, More.
Articles, Thoughts, More. Lindsey Hart    Director of Client Services

The Highly-Debated Exclamation Point

It’s no surprise that the last 2+ years have changed the way we work and the way we communicate at work. Fewer ‘hallway conversations’, less ‘just swinging by to say hi. We’re missing the typical 60-80% of non-verbal cues that previously made up our conversations, and it’s harder to show we care.

To gain some new insight and inspiration on this evolved world we’re living in, I was recently reading - or rather, I was listening to - the audiobook, Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance by Erica Dhawan. According to the book, 70% of all communications amongst teams is virtual. As a society, we send over 306 billion emails every day with the average person sending about 30 emails daily and fielding 96 - and 50% of the time, those emails are misinterpreted.

“The return of the exclamation point is one of the most epic comebacks in punctuation history.”

A quote that stuck with me was “the return of the exclamation point is one of the most epic comebacks in punctuation history.” In this era of so much written digital communication vs in-person, I completely agree. I am a fan of the exclamation point in trying to replace the non-verbal cues that I so heavily relied on in the “before times.” I find that by using exclamation points in emails to teams, clients and partners, it helps me convey friendliness and approachability. It helps communicate the warmth that would otherwise be shown in my facial expressions if we were together in-person. It helps to build and foster my relationships.

While a quick Google search reveals many negative opinions (saying exclamation points come off as unprofessional, immature and that they should never be used), I love the emotion that can be communicated through that one symbol. And while I agree that the use of exclamation points in professional communication should still be considered carefully, used sparingly, and used with the right audience, I love that they’re making a comeback!

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