Our modern messaging technology is so nice and quick that we have fallen into a too-casual usage of it, which often makes it difficult for the message recipient.

This casualness has spread to meeting people face-to-face, where an assumption is made that everyone recognizes and remembers the name of everyone else.

Some Bad Message Examples

An E-mail read:

“Just fax the invoice to me and I’ll take care of it.”

What was the fax number, I wondered? I E-mailed back with the question.

The next E-mail read:

“The fax number is on the bottom of the E-mail.”

But it wasn’t. I E-mailed this back.

The last E-mail read:

“It was on the bottom of the E-mail that I sent you last month.”

Sigh. Why couldn’t she have just sent the fax number to me with the first E-mail?

A voicemail message said:

“Give me a call back at my office.”

But I was out of town with my cell phone, and did not know their office number.

A voice mail said:

“Hi, it’s Jen.”

But I couldn’t remember who Jen was.

A person sees me coming in the door and calls out:

“Hi, Ruth.”

Who could that possibly be? I wonder. I meet many new people each week. Did I meet this person, or did they see my name and picture somewhere?

Polite Modern Communication Rules

There are a few simple rules that will take you from being the annoyance with your voice mails, E-mails, and face-to-face meetings, to being a helpful and polite person.

For Voice Mail Messages:

• Always give your complete name, and the name of your company

• If it is someone who might not know you, reiterate where you met

• Leave your telephone number twice, once at the start and once at the end

• Make the message brief but to the point

For E-mail messages:

• Always lead off by reiterating the topic that is being discussed

• Always attach all of your contact information at the end

• Use complete sentences, and punctuate properly.

For Face-to-Face Meetings:

• Stick out your hand for a handshake, stating your name, your company name and why the person might know you

• Don’t use someone’s name unless you are sure of it

Author's Bio: 

About the author: Ruth Haag (www.RuthHaag.com) helps managers and employees understand the dynamics of the work environment, and how to function smoothly within it. She is the President/CEO of Haag Environmental Company. She has written a four-book business series: “Taming Your Inner Supervisor”, “Day-to-Day Supervising”, “Hiring and Firing”, and “Why Projects Fail.” Her enjoyable, easy-to-read books provide a look at life the way it is, rather than the way that you might think it should be.