Tips For Communicating Like A Professional In Instant Messages
Many workplaces now use instant message platforms like Slack as a quick way for team members and colleagues to communicate. But as you have probably noticed not everyone has mastered the art of communicating in an effective and professional way in their instant messages. Just because instant messages are similar to texts doesn’t mean that you should be using textspeak when you message your boss or a colleague or a client. Here are a few important instant message etiquette rules that everyone should follow when using instant messages at work:
Don’t Assume Everyone Is Free Just Because You Are
When you send someone an instant message you should always start with a short greeting and ask them if they are available to chat for a minute. If someone is working on something, or on a call, you don’t want to disturb them. You can also send a message and say that they can answer it when they are free. Respect their time and realize that not everyone will be free to message you whenever you are free. Don’t be demanding and insist on a reply immediately. If they are busy ask when a good time to chat would be.
Watch Your Spelling And Grammar
Spelling and grammar still matter, even in instant messages. It’s a good idea to have a spell check or grammar check program that checks your messages for mistakes before you send them so that you don’t come across as ignorant or sloppy when you’re sending instant messages to coworkers, your boss or clients. You wouldn’t send an email that was full of grammar and spelling mistakes so don’t send an instant message full of them either. We understand if english isn’t your first language, sometimes that can be challenging. But there are many cell phone spy apps out there that you can use to take notes from watching what your peers are doing.
Don’t Get Personal
Instant messaging has a feeling of familiarity because it feels like you are texting a friend. But, don’t get carried away. It’s still a professional communication and you shouldn’t be messaging coworkers or your boss about personal problems or personal situation. It’s best not to tell jokes but if you must tell jokes make sure that they are clean and appropriate. Basically if you wouldn’t say it out loud in the office for everyone to hear don’t send it in a message. Those messages are not private and can be monitored just like your email so you should always think twice before you hit send. The ability to separate personal relationships with work relationships is a very valuable skill believe it or not, don’t let a robot take your job because you lack those simple soft skills.
Break Up Text Blocks
Huge blocks of text are annoying and difficult to read. Most people just skim through a message so make sure that you’re breaking up large blocks of text. Put a space after every few sentences and make sure that you aren’t sending extremely long messages all the time. If you have a lot to say you can just message the person and ask them to call you so you can talk to them about something. This should go without saying, but it sadly has to be said. You’re not texting your best friend, you’re sending a professional message. Don’t be lazy. Use proper punctuation.
These are not the only tips you should take into consideration, we’ve read many by SkillsYourNeed and they have some great tips that we think anyone can learn from. If you liked this blog post, then you can check out their “Top tips for effective interpersonal communication skills.” post.