Yes, the way in which we communicate has changed. Remember the days when you picked up the phone and called your family and friends? They are long gone. Texts, emojis and direct messages are the new norm when reaching your best friend, siblings or parents.
The work environment is no different. The revolution started when email was introduced into the workplace. Now, the rise of unified communications technology allows for colleagues to reach each other via instant messages, video calls, SMS messages or voice calls. Constant and instant communication is now commonplace. As such, the rules and etiquette when it comes to professional communications has and continues to evolve in order to match the technology that is available to us.
So, how can you navigate the uncharted waters of new communication in a professional environment? Look no further as we provide you with some tips that will help you communicate with your coworkers politely and concisely.
Adapt the message to the medium
You wouldn’t send a formal letter as a text message, would you? When reaching out to someone you should keep in mind the nature of your (or their request) and make it appropriate to the channel that you are using. If it is important information required for a project, probably an email is the best way. If you need a quick reply with an update, a text or instant message will do the trick.
Mind your tone
Remember that sometimes tone does not translate well into written communications. What sounds short and to the point in your head, may be perceived by the recipient as curt or rude. At the same time, what you may perceive as snarky or mean, may not have been intended that way by the sender.
Release the emoticons!
Emoticons are now part of business vernacular so don’t be afraid of including them in your daily communications. Now, if the environment or the situation requires for you to remain professional, maybe keep your :) out. However, emoticons can help you reinforce your meaning, add a bit of humor, diffuse an awkward situation or avoid misunderstandings.
Keep it to a minimum.
Nobody likes the guy who calls about the email they just sent. The same applies for unified communications solutions. If you sent an email allow an appropriate time to receive a reply. If you haven’t heard from the other party, then follow up with an instant message. Don’t send the same message over different channels at the same time. Seriously…stop it.
Yes change can be scary, but when it comes to unified communications solutions, those changes are only for the better. All these new tools are there to help you become more productive and allow you to reach your objectives so keep and open mind and embrace the change!
What other advice do you have that helps people communicate in the work environment?