IM Etiquette Guide

Ettiquette Guide - Instant Messaging:

Hi Guys, just a few notes to share with you...

Instant Messaging is a great way to manage workplace communications and streamline processes to getting your most important assignments done. It's important that we put this into good use and proper manner. Here are some tips for using IM wisely at work:

1. Consider the content: IM works best for quick questions, updates, and schedule changes. For complicated or critical messages, send an E-mail, pick up the phone, or hike down the hall.

2. Be brief: Keep messages almost telegraphic -- no more than a sentence or two. Save longer conversations for meetings and conference calls.

3. Be kind: Never deliver bad news or major announcements by IM; the format will seem to trivialize the message.

4. Be smart: Don't use IM to negotiate contracts, place orders, or make personnel assignments. Put those things in writing, preferably with a fax or a letter.

5. Be careful: Never include sensitive or confidential information in a message. It's too easy for someone to cut and paste the text into an E-mail or another document that might be passed on.

6. Keep it professional: Limit the use of cutesy, potentially confusing acronyms and slang -- "G2G" for "got to go," for instance. And pick an appropriate screen ID. As one CEO observes, "Monkeyboy42 is probably not a good business IM name."

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