MACo Book Club’s Latest Selection: “Digital Body Language”

MACo’s “Good Government Book Club” will tackle a timely title – a guide to communicating and connecting in a hybrid world. Register for #MACoCon to join the conversation… with your own courtesy copy of the book!

MACo has hosted a Book Club meeting at each summer and winter conference in recent years, hosting a lively group discussion about topics that are relevant to public service, leadership, and government.

For the August conference, the selection is Erica Dhawan’s Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance.

Here’s a summary of the book, from the Goodreads site:

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.

Interested? Great… register for MACo’ Summer Conference, and contact Victoria Maas at MACo, to receive your courtesy copy of Digital Body Language.

The courtesy copies of the book – made available to the first 25 registrants who seek them – are thanks to the Book Club’s sponsor, J.P. Morgan.

MACo and the Book Club members are grateful for their sponsorship and support of this always rewarding component of our conferences.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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