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Chapter 18. Plug In to Technology > Demonstrate Your Character

Demonstrate Your Character

Slow down and be careful as you use instant technologies. Take time to think first.

  1. Make sure you know where the "uh-oh" or "oops" button is. It will take back messages you shouldn't have sent. (That's a joke, folks. No e-mail program has such a button, so think before you send.)

  2. Take plenty of time to review every message, especially a sensitive or important one. Click on "send later" to give yourself time to reflect on what you've written.

  3. Never send anything by any medium that is bigoted, racist, sexist, or sexy.

  4. Always acknowledge and respond to personal e-mail, and do it in a timely way. You'll have to decide what timely means. An ignored e-mail conveys a poor image of you or your organization.

  5. Be careful when you forward messages. It's as if you wrote them yourself.

  6. If your company e-mail has a signature line and you insert your name above it, recipients (or the company's lawyers) may assume that you are speaking for the company. Be careful.

  7. Courts have upheld a company's right to treat employee email as its own property. Use your office e-mail for personal communications cautiously. Beware! E-mail gossip is dangerous. Don't send anything that you'd mind seeing posted on your company's bulletin board. There is no such thing as a private e-mail.

  8. E-mail is not the best medium for working out negative incidents or for handling emotional disputes or hurt feelings. If you can't meet face-to-face with the person, at least call her on the phone. In person or electronically, make this your goal: to disagree without being disagreeable.



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