Back in days when I was learning by heart all the communication theories, emoticons were used just in MSN chats or mobile SMSs. Nowadays emoticons are common also in a business communication. Are we too playful and unprofessional if we use emoticons in business communication?
Old-school theories of communication
Older theories of communication differentiate between emotional and rational communication. Emotional communication is a sign of too personal communication and it doesn’t contribute to build a professional and scientific corporate image. Still we can find many companies and public institutions which prefer those theories in practice. But on the other side, end-consumer companies have been always looking for different ways to win consumers’ hearts.
And so, theoretics of communication, sociology and psychology have been searching and analysing further on and scientifically proved that emotions are not just “feelings” that live in people’s introspection, but they have an important role in communication. They said: The emotions has to be controlled in organisations! First theories analysed emotional communication with levels of commitment, satisfaction, level of harmony of personal and corporate values etc.
New-age theories of communication
Many nowadays theories of communication explain that it is inevitably to include emotions due to a rise of burnout, stress and emotional exhaustion etc. Emotional communication is not “the other side” of rational communication, but both spheres are important to build successful business environment. Emotions are not just a reaction, but they have an important role to reach economic goals. Through interaction employees show their work and social culture and they express their emotions towards coworkers, company, clients etc. Level of emotional intelligence is the result of corporate norms and values that lives in daily workflow of the organisation.
Humour in emotional communication
Theoretics of communication have found out that humour has high noticeable role in the efficiency of emotional communication. Employees are more motivated to participate when the corporate communication style is funny, relaxed and it motivate solidarity.
Digital technologies and emotional communication
Albert Mehrabian, professor at Clark University, said:
“Words count 7%, tone of voice counts 38% and body language counts 55 % in communication.”
It is similar to an old saying:
“Your actions are so loud that I can’t hear what you are talking.”
With new communication technologies and social media many communication experts emphasize that emotional communication is becoming harder than ever before. How to express emotions when you send 100 emails per day? That’s also the reason why emoticons are not a sign of unprofessional behaviour but just a way to bring emotions into corporate communication.
There are many surveys why people use emoticons and here are a few key reasons:
They help me more accurately express what I am thinking.
It makes it easy for other people to understand me.
They help create a more personal connection with the other person.
Emojis are a better fit than words for the way I think.
It is faster to use them than it is to type out the text.