We’re so lucky to live in a society with all the technological conveniences of the 21st Century; e-mail, text, Skype….no longer is the phone our only device to communicate quickly and effortlessly. With this luxury we also hold a responsibility of ensuring we don’t abuse this form of communication by taking “short cuts”. For those born after 1995 who only know these savvy options it may seem normal and perfectly okay to use chat acronyms and text shorthand when writing. Communicating with friends – perfectly okay. Communicating for professional purposes – not okay. These tips should be considered when communicating professionally:
-Use the telephone to discuss important matters; not able to work, communicating strong opinions or disagreements as tone is left for interpretation and can be misconstrued.
-Do not use slang or abbreviated words when writing, keep to formal language so everything is clear and understood.
-If texting, be sure to write your name since not every recipient is aware of who the sender is.
-When Skyping, eye contact and body language is just as important as if you were in person. Do not eat, use your phone, have music or background distractions interfere.
-When emailing, use proper greetings, punctuation and be sure to proof read before hitting “send”.
-It is also wise to consider having a professional email address, keep your “hot2trot” address separate from business!
The bottom line is that it is wonderful to have all the options to contact, share information, touch base and get your point across but we can’t take for granted the conveniences of technology for lax communication skills with business partners. We never want to compromise convenience for competence!
Written by Susan – who loves a phone call over an email any day!