August 24, 2014

IM With Clients: Polishing Casual Communication

IM or chat is a popular communication medium among distributed teams. While many of us use chat as an informal communication platform outside of work, there are many who use it at work for short, quick messages. 

What are the benefits of using IM?
  • IM is quick, and cheaper than using the phone for international connections
  • IM is text-based so participants do not need to worry about listening comprehension problems such as accent differences, etc.
  • IM can be used to send a quick hello among team members to check in for the day, or ask about quick status updates
What are the downsides of using IM?
  • Because we can use IM for a quick ping, many feel IM is casual, and hence use casual language, make more spelling mistakes, use texting language, and do not talk talk in complete sentences.
  • It can be tricky to know when it's more appropriate to send an email or pick up the phone and talk.
Remember at work, our communications can be cut, pasted and archived. This means we need to always use our most polished language. At work we are not only representing our company, but ourselves. What kind of image and impression do you want to leave behind? 

Learn how to use Instant Messaging with Professionalism
See our program on Email and Business Writing
Standards to Polish Chatting with Clients or Colleagues
To help you to polish your IM etiquette, Intel has made this handy document to use as a reference. 
Check out the document "Make Sure to Mind your Instant Messaging Matters" from Intel.

Jennifer Kumar, a communication strategist helps Indians communicate more clearly with their distributed teams around the world. Contact her for more information.

Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.