Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

Courteous and Respectful Communication…

07/09/2009

On one of my LinkedIn groups, I commented on this question posed by another member:

As a people-skills coach, I often hear that technology has ruined interpersonal skills and contact. Let’s hear it, what do you think?  How has technology helped and/or hurt?

My response:

Technology sometimes provides us an excuse for careless habits.

I remember, in the 90’s, discussions on “Will email ruin our interpersonal skills and contact skills?”  This was well before “texts” and “tweets”.

And I still encounter people composing emails with:

  • no capitals at all
  • ALL CAPITALS
  • Dismissive responses (one-word or short responses) that do not address the elements of the email to which the response is being sent.
  • Poor grammar
  • Reactive responses or new emails that appear to have no thought applied beforehand.

I think these are examples of lazy, expedient, or shortcut habits sometimes driven by “I have a ton of emails and must get rid of them” or similar attitude. But the bottom line is, these are communications which need to be clear, concise and delivered with appropriate courtesy and respect. When that is the goal, email, tweets, text messages, IM’s, blogs, etc. take on a different look and feel, and achieve a better result.

A couple of years ago,  I built a habit to — right before hitting the “Send” button for emails, to change the recipient’s name at the start of the email to bold type and to increase it one font size.   It doesn’t take much additional effort.  Mentally, I try to “say” — Courtesy and Respect, as a reminder that the foundation of all my communications should begin with “Courtesy and Respect”.  It has helped change my communication style.

What do you think?

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