Etiquette and Mannerism: Section II – Technology Etiquette
These days technology has become an inseparable part of our life. So it is imperative for us to learn technology etiquette for using technology professionally. The vital means of technology we use are mobile phones and computers. Let us know about the etiquette for using these gadgets. You cannot control a few awkward involuntary actions like sneezing, yawning, and hiccups, but you should know how to apologize but when it is a matter of technology etiquette which includes both telephonic conversation and email etiquette, things can be taken under control. One behaves very casually while talking on the phone or writing emails, making blunders and repenting later on. In the first section of Etiquette and Mannerism is merely focused on General and Dining Etiquette whereas in this section we will be focusing on the following:
One must know that the phone must be used in the right setting. You must not show the impropriety of using the phone as the chief guest had used in the example mentioned in the Perspective of this chapter. He picked a call while addressing an audience and his phone talk was audible to everyone as the mic was on. Some other settings where it is inappropriate to use the mobile are classroom meetings, worshipping places, public transports etc. Remember when other people give you inquisitive looks while you are talking on the phone, you must stop the conversation.
The following are some tips for conducting phone conversations in a proper way:
- When you speak in public space, remember everyone around is listening to you. To prevent your personal life from becoming public, you must not talk something too personal at a public space.
- While you are on the phone. Do not speak with a person around you, as this will lead to a lot of confusion for the person at the other end of the phone. He/she will not understand what you are saying to him/her and what to the other person.
- Sideline working on the computer while talking over the phone. Your attention will get diverted, and the person on the other side may also get irritated by the clacking of the keyboard.
- Shun using cell phones completely in a social setting. If you remain engrossed over the phone for a long time in a social setting then it reflects that people in that social setting are not important to you.
- Initiating phone calls during the early hours of the day or late nights should be avoided unless it is urgent. Also neglect to make use of the mobile during meals, work, and meetings.
Ensure the number dialed is correct; if not, say sorry to the person for disturbing him/her. Do not disconnect without apologizing. If you receive a wrong call, do not yell at the person.
Check how you sound on the phone. Your talk on the phone gives your impression to a person whom you are talking for the first time. He/she designs an image of your personality by the tone and quality of your voice. Your voice reflects your mood and thoughts for the person at the other end. Speak clearly and with a pleasant tone. Transmit smile through your voice and make a good impression through your talk.
Whenever you have made a call, it is you are obligated to introduce yourself rather than putting questions to the person who has picked your call. Do not be in alacrity to tell the purpose of your call, as it is abrupt and harsh to do so. Either the concern person will be on the line or if he is not available, you will be informed about that.
Give Time to pick the call
When you call, give sufficient time to the other person to pick your call, as the person may be working in the kitchen, garden or talking to neighbours. If they come to take your call and you hang up, it is irritating for them. So give them adequate time to pick your call.
Avoid Prolonged Talks
Phones are for convenience and should not be used for entertainment. You may misuse others time by stretching your phone talk too long. Remember if they get bugged by your talk, they will avoid picking your call next time.
Be Careful on Information Sharing
When you get a call, do not expeditiously reveal your identity unless you are sure who is on the other side. Just say a simple “hello” and always bluff there are others around you. It is unsafe to say you are alone. Be practical and smart. If the call is for someone else say, “one moment please, I’ll just call them for you.” Before calling the concerned individual, place the phone mouthpiece down. You must not yell in the mouth while calling him/her. If you don’t find that person, tell the caller that you will inform him/her and he/she will get back.
To run any business successfully, companies need to have a competitive edge over their competition. To acquire new clients a company needs to communicate with them in a professional effective manner. Many companies do not give due importance to email communications with their clients. To deal professionally with their clients, it is essential for employees to save for the company’s themselves from awkward situations while writing emails to them. There are some rules that should be implemented for better written communication.
The following are some points on email etiquette and a focus on forwarding etiquette:
- Always comprise a subject and use the recipient’s name in the greeting
- Do not write in all capitals
- Avoid using email to discuss confidential information
- Be concise and to the point
- Take care with abbreviations and emoticons
- Think, is this relevant to the work my organization is doing? Will the office benefit professionally from this information? before you send an email.
Be concise and to the point
Reading an email is monotonous than reading printed papers. Keep in mind that the other party may not be able to focus on and understand all the faces if your email is too long. The shorter it is, it is more likely that you will get a faster response. A thumb rule is to limit emails to one or two lines.
Make usage of proper spellings, grammar and punctuations
Improper spellings, grammar and punctuation not only leave a bad impression about your lack of writing skills but also make the sentences difficult to read and understand. Remember a good sentence should be no more than 12 words.
Avoid attaching unnecessary files
If you attach with your email the files that do not serve the purpose of your client, then you are annoying them. Also, skip sending large files as they take several minutes to download and also can bring down the email server.
Do not write in capital letters
If you write in capital letters people assume that you are implying things and that does not leave a good impression on one. This may trigger an unwanted response from the client.
Many of us have become habitual of using abbreviations like U for you, plz for please, etc. They may seem fit when we are talking to a friend but not with business professionals. Business emails should be more formal in nature in order to leave a good impact on the recipient.
Try to reply fast
Someone emails to you because they expect a quick response, or else they could fax or send a letter. If an email is long and needs some thought, it is worth a reply that you will get back soon. This will ensure the sender of your detailed response and he/she will wait patiently.
Use expressive subject lines
The subject line of your email is an important factor in setting the priority by your client – whether to read the email immediately or later. For example, if you do not expect any actions on a particular matter but you want to just share the update, it would be good to have ‘FYI’ as the subject line.
Number your questions
You must follow this rule. If you are not numbering your questions, it may be possible that your clients may answer those questions which are in the first line. But numbering questions you structure your email in such a way that every question gets the desired attention from your client and you do not have to ask again.
One might think that noting deadlines might seem imposing conditions on a client, but it is not so. Professionals are dealing with a hectic schedule these days, so if a deadline is mentioned then they become conscious to fit that in their schedule and manage their accordingly.
Check the email before you click ‘send’
Many people do not pay heed to revise their emails for correcting inadvertent mistakes. Such errors send a wrong signal to the email recipient. Have someone to read your email before sending it, as he/she would be giving you the perspective of the recipient.
When you are using Technology, remember its impact is great because of its greater reach; therefore, be alert and careful while using it.
Name: Smurtika Dalvi
Designation: Soft-skills Trainer
Sevenmentor Pvt Ltd
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