Earlier this month I talked about a guide to comms-etiquette that Penny Edge from The Finishing Academy and I have put together. The purpose behind this was to look at the different ways in which people can communicate these days i.e. email, voice, instant messaging and produce a guide to the Do's and Dont's.
You would have thought this was all obvious but the amount of times I have been in a meeting where people answer their phone makes me think a) its not so obvious and b) I shouldn't book meetings with people anymore, just interrupt others meetings by phoning in ;-).
Well it appears that the Comm-etiquette blog post has resonated with a number of people. In particular The Sunday Telegraph, Silicom.com, IT Week, ZDNet and BBC News 24 all talked about the comm-etiquette guide we produced with the Finishing Academy. I thought therefore it might be useful to put up a 'Top 5' for quick reference. You might want to print this one out for quick reference ;-)
1. Use IM for short requests
IM is a great tool when you want an immediate response. Likewise a simple question or response is better suited to IM then e-mail.
2. Use email sparingly
E-mail should not be used as a default method of communication, sometimes IM or the phone are more appropriate. It is relevant when a discussion needs to take place but the outcome does not need to be resolved immediately.
3. Don’t forget the phone
Telephone conversations offer a personal form of communication, making them ideal for building a rapport with new contacts or dealing with delicate issues. When you need to discuss a lot of information immediately the phone is your friend.
4. Work on your online presence
With a wider range of communications options available it is important to let people know how best to contact you. If you are at your desk remember to set your IM status to online, changing it to busy, away or offline as necessary.
5. Be careful when using humour or sarcasm
The use of humour or sarcasm could easily be misinterpreted or appear inappropriate in a business environment. In order to avoid causing offence think about how well you know the person in question. If in doubt adopt a more formal tone.