Wednesday, October 6, 1999
tips for today's technology
Voice messages, electronic e-mails, video conferences, speakerphones and cellular/portable phones--all part of the modern business world.
Unfortunately, easier and faster does not always mean better or acceptable--even if everybody else does it. Common sense and courtesy are still important communication ingredients.
Answering Machines and Voice Mail:
Record the outgoing message in your own voice. Keep it short and
businesslike. The caller assumes you,re sorry you missed his or her call
without being told. Do not include comments of a religious nature--these
can possibly offend a caller/client. Stay away from clichÈs such as,
,,Have a nice day.” Make the day nice for your callers with a brief message
in a pleasant tone.
When you leave a message, don,t assume the caller will recognize
your voice. State your name and, if appropriate, your company name. Some
systems automatically record date/time information, but you may want to
state that also if you feel it is important. Keep your message
brief. Speak clearly and slowly when you give your phone number. Someone
who has to listen to your message six times in order to understand the
number, may not care whether he or she returns your call.
Love to use your speakerphone? Courtesy dictates that you ask the
caller for permission before you activate the speaker function. Also,
remember that everyone within hearing distance may hear the conversation
whether or not they should.
If you use a speakerphone to conduct a meeting, since the person
on the other end of the line cannot see who is in the room always introduce
everyone present. This is not only good manners, but can help avoid
embarrassing situations. The caller may wish to monitor his or her
comments according those present in the meeting.
Listen carefully--a half-second delay in transmission can be
confusing. Behave as though everyone is in the same room--you are not
invisible and the person(s) at the other location(s) are not deaf. Keep
your movements to a minimum. If you have the opportunity to choose your
clothing ahead of time, stick with solid colors. Choose light blue for
shirts and blouses.
For business use, keep these tips in mind. When you accept an
incoming call while with someone else, realize that the other person may
not appreciate the interruption of his or her time with you. A client
especially may feel a position of ,,second place” in this situation. Also,
when you conduct business within hearing distance of other people someone
may overhear information not meant for their ears. Last but not least, be
careful of what you say--someone with more curiosity than manners/ethics
may tap in and listen.
One of the problems with e-mail is that it can cause an important
message to seem informal and unimportant. E-mail is still business
correspondence--keep it businesslike! Basic points: include a subject
line; do not use uppercase for all letters (it,s harder to read and comes
across as yelling at the reader); check your grammar and spelling (this
reflects on you, even in e-mail); sign off with your name, company name (if
applicable) and a phone number.
If your e-mail is a reply, even though the subject line will
provide a general reference, include enough information to ensure the
recipient can quickly identify the reply. It is not always necessary to
include the entire original message in your answer.
Do not be upset if you do not receive an answer
immediately. People have other responsibilities besides reading
e-mail. If you require an immediate response, it may be best to simply
pick up the telephone and call the person.
Avoid Anger in Your Communication- A very big temptation when speaking to a
machine or dashing out a message on your computer keyboard because you are
not face to face with the other person. A knee-jerk message could cause a
great offense. You may wish you had not left the angry words on someone,s
voice mail or so quickly sent that sarcastic e-mail message. The answering
machine or computer will not respond to your angry message--but the
recipient probably will!
Free by e-mail/fax: If you would like a free article on how to manage your
time and your life, please fax us your name on your letterhead or E-mail us
with the words, ,,Time Management” to email@example.com.
Gregory P. Smith shows businesses how to build productive and profitable
work environments that attract, keep and motivate their workforce. He
speaks at conferences and is the President of a management consulting firm
called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone
him at (770)860-9464 or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More
information and articles are available at www.chartcourse.com.
Chart Your Course International is a training and management development
company preparing people today for tomorrow's new business horizons.
Gregory P. Smith is the President, Lead Navigator and the Captain of the
Ship. He is the author of The New Leader, and How to Attract, Keep and
For more information or for a free monthly newsletter call (770)860-9464 or sail an email message to email@example.com.Visit our award winning website for helpfull articles, tips, newsletters. Available at http://www.chartcourse.com