The Etiquette of Email & Telephone
I know. You have so many things on your plate. It’s difficult to return calls and emails. I get that. It’s difficult for me, also. I do not have any two days that are alike—no regular routine. In fact, I am not, usually, in the same place for two days in a row. So, I have to make my routines mobile. That’s one of the benefits of our digital world. While there are many negatives about the digital world, in my personal opinion, the benefits outweigh the downsides. Management of your digital world makes the difference.
But, if you participate in that digital world, apply digital etiquette.
- When you get an email, reply within 24-48 hours, if at all possible.
- If you are the one sending the email and if you need a response by a certain time, indicate that in the body of your note.
- Be courteous in your email.
- In formal communications, use a salutation and signature, when appropriate.
- Edit your email. Use proper spelling, punctuation, etc. (unless this is your best friend with whom you are doing a quick set of exchanges and neither of you care.)
- Do not use email to express upset of concern. An email is for the exchange of data or the sharing of information. It is not to hash out a problem or express your anger, etc. Approximately 60% of a message is body language and 30% is tone of voice, so much can be misinterpreted in the written word. Be careful. If you have something you want to say to another person or if you have a problem, do not try to do this in an e mail.
- Respond to your texts with the same expediency as your emails, when and where possible. I do not always carry my phone, so I cannot always answer a text immediately. But, I do try to answer them as soon as I see them. Do the same.
- Thank goodness the smart phones tell you if you have a voicemail. Otherwise, I wouldn’t look at that part of the phone. It’s just one more thing to notice. But, if I am alerted, I do go to that message and do my best to respond. Responding and returning calls if, once again, a matter of etiquette and courtesy—and, in many cases, good business.
The world is digital. We are all wrapped up in this digital world. And, since we have seemed to have agreed to this, we need to participate in an acceptable manner. Be an astute and courteous digital manager.