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Ten Tips For Improving Your Technology Etiquette

Companies today insist on certain technological standards for their workforce because companies are legally and ethically responsible for all information that comes from their computers, fax machines, Blackberries, cell phones, etc. your techno-etiquette skills should match or exceed your personal etiquette skills when dealing with people.

People judge your character based on the level of civility and basic manners you exhibit in face-to-face interactions as well as the technological interactions they have with you. For example, you can have impeccable etiquette skills when you are around people, and you can treat all people with dignity and respect when in your presence. However, if you fail to return phone calls or emails, or if you forward someone a barrage of inappropriate jokes with uninvited email attachments, your character will be in question and you may be considered. like a superficial charmer.

* Your cell phones do not ring at the wrong times and places.
* You avoid loud, one-sided telephone conversations in public.
* You NEVER provide confidential information about company activities by cell phone, text message, instant messaging or e-mail.
* You silence your audible ringtones such as songs or sounds.
* You avoid checking, reading and sending instant messages and emails on laptops or Blackberries during business meetings.
* You never send emails using CC function instead of using BCC function thus exposing everyone in the list.
* You avoid the overuse of the "reply to all" feature in emails instead of selecting a specific targeted list for those who receive the email.
* You are very careful not to use emotional language or threats in texts, instant messages, or emails such as "If I don't receive this report within an hour, your job is at stake."
* You avoid overuse of emoticons such as:>} in instant messages or in emails.
* You avoid excessive use of shorthand for those unfamiliar with your shorthand terms, such as LM for message left or NW for next week.

Behaviors demonstrate levels of trust in the company. Sometimes it's best to talk less and raise your level of professional decorum in order to deepen relationships with clients and associates.

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