The relative anonymity of cyberspace and mobile devices has made it too easy to relax or forget interpersonal skills altogether.
However, just because these convenient forms of communicating don’t necessarily involve meeting face to face, it doesn’t mean you can forget your manners!
Practicing good communication skills when using cell phones and email is important and easy to do, as long as you remember a few simple things.
It’s not what you say but how you say it
When sending an email, especially one for business or professional reasons, it is important to pay attention to the tone of your words.
Because your recipient cannot view your physical expressions or hear the tone of your voice, they can’t use body language to interpret your meaning. This means that a message that is not carefully worded can lead to misinterpretations. You may make an innocent statement in an email that would actually sound completely different if it were spoken aloud.
What to do: Try reading your email aloud to yourself, or better yet, to someone else, before you send it so that you can be sure that it conveys your message the way you want it to.
When typing emails, it is important to remember that the typeface that you use is also important.
Typing in all capital letters may seem like a good way to emphasize your words, but your reader may perceive this as cyber-shouting.
It Ain’t Cute
Smiling emoticons may be okay for friendly emails to friends, but could be seen as unprofessional if used in an email to a coworker or a supervisor.
Refrain from using emoticons unless you are on buddy-terms with the recipient.
Make Momma Proud
Just because you are writing an email doesn’t mean all manners should go out the window.
Remember to say Please, Thank You, Hello, Good Morning, and to close your email politely.
Cell Phone Cautions
The Text Sense
Texting has become a quick, easy way to communicate.
However, like email, because the sender cannot use body language to make the message clear, texts can also be misread if you aren’t careful.
Take care to compose the text so that there is no confusion as to your meaning. Or better yet, just call the person whom you want to communicate with if there is any doubt.
Give me your undivided attention, please.
Remember that cell phone etiquette should be the same as when you are using a landline phone. Avoid a cell phone conversation if it will interfere with speaking to an actual person in your presence, since this can offend the person in front of you as well as annoy the person on the phone.
Practicing good social skills will ensure that you are using the correct etiquette for email and cell phones.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself communicating online or over your cell phone. They will help you make sure that your message is clearly received by its recipient, and help avoid misunderstandings.