Below is part one of a three part series on The Etiquette Of How We Communicate. For the forward to this series, please visit this post.
Part 1 - communication technologies(iPods, cell phones, e-mail, voice mail and speakerphone)
Part 2 - professional appearance (wardrobe and grooming)
Part 3 - dining etiquette (table manners and other aspects of navigating a business meal)
The Etiquette of How We Communicate
by Marjorie Brody, CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame
The Potential Conundrum of Communication Technologies
•·iPods - Although Apple's online store features several humorous iPod etiquette tips (i.e. "remove both earbuds: during a job interview, taking your driver's test, when your sweetie calls" and to leave the earbuds in "when your boss calls"), this hippest technology medium really can cause some problems on the job. Just because you need to have the latest techno toys, don't let them jeopardize a promising career - leave them in the car or at home! (unless your job or work culture allows them - i.e. graphic designers, or web site developers).
•·Cell phones - They shouldn't be used in public areas (restaurants, movies, concerts, buses, trains, airplanes), or during business meetings (always put them on vibrate). Don't disrupt the service you are performing to take a call - that's just plain rude and makes the person with you feel unworthy of your time and attention. The same goes for taking pictures and text messaging - don't do it on company time.
•·Pagers/beepers - Unless your job duties require you to leave them on, always put pagers and beepers on vibrate.
•· E-mails - Remember, this communication medium is never private (long after you "delete" them any tech support staffer can easily retrieve them from your computer's hard drive). Also, always check spellings, keep them concise, use subject lines and refrain from capital letters.
•· Faxes -- When faxing to hotels with your client's information, cover up names and other confidential information -- or don't use this method at all for proprietary details. Never assume your important fax went through ... a quick call or e-mail is wise to ensure receipt.
•· Speaker phone -- Only use this feature for a conference call, and then always identify everyone on the call for the person or persons on the other end. People who use speaker phone to check messages and make/take daily calls are seen as arrogant.
•· Voice mail -- Keep your own message short, and change it regularly so people know when/how to reach you. Always say your name and number slowly at the beginning and end of messages.
•·Telephone - Keep a smile on your face and nothing in your mouth - no gum or food- when answering. Never put someone on hold unless you ask if it's OK. Then, don't let the person linger, forced to listen to your "on-hold" message or music for too long.
This series addresses three business-related areas of manners to remember when it comes to communicating: communication technologies(iPods, cell phones, e-mail, voice mail and speakerphone); professional appearance (wardrobe and grooming); and dining etiquette (table manners and other aspects of navigating a business meal).
Marjorie Brody, CSP, CPAE, CMC, PCC, is an author, sought-after public speaker, and coach to Fortune 1,000 executives. She is a global authority in helping successful business leaders identify and enhance their strategies and skills for career success. Marjorie's commentary on workplace/career issues is regularly featured on TV and radio shows, and in newspapers and magazines. Marjorie has had the privilege of serving diverse clients such as Microsoft, Pfizer, New York Life Insurance Company, Johnson & Johnson, The Institute of Internal Auditors, Society for Human Resource Management, Executive Women International, and GlaxoSmithKline. To contact Marjorie or book her as a speaker, trainer or coach, call 800-726-7936, or visit http://www.marjoriebrody.com/ for more information.