Tips for Emailing
Email is a very popular way to get into contact with others without having to pick up the phone. Due to the easy accessibility of email, you can send a message around the clock. You should always ensure that you’re using a professional email address when talking with business associates. Never use personal email addresses as it can seem unprofessional to the recipient. Make sure that when you reply to messages, you’re only replying to those who need to read your response. Don’t reply to all the people included in the first message if there isn’t a need to.
While much online communication tends to veer towards the casual and ungrammatical, professional emails should be reread and follow standard English rules. Begin with a salutation or greeting like “Hello (name),” and end with something like “Best, (your name)” or “Sincerely, (your name).”
Tips for Phones
The phone has always been the traditional form of contact for businesses. However, the way the phone is used is a little different these days. Instead of just talking, you can now text associates throughout the day. You can even implement a text message system for business purposes to respond to customers. While texting casually, people often use emoticons and abbreviations, but in a professional situation it’s best to limit abbreviations and misspellings. Abbreviations like ‘u’ can seem very informal in a professional environment. However, texts do not need to begin, or end, with greetings or names if the person already knows you. If contacting someone for the first time through text, it is standard to begin with a brief introduction: “Hello (name), my name is (your name), from (business).”
Tips for Skype
Skype is a very popular video chatting software that is utilized by many businesses who are having meetings with various people. It’s always important that you have your Skype chat set up in a quiet environment where the person on the other end doesn’t have difficulty hearing you. You should always look at the camera when you’re talking with others instead of your screen. This helps to appear as if you’re talking more directly with the person than when looking down at your screen. Skype is used by many businesses for remote or initial interviews, so learning good Skype habits can help you in your professional goals. Practice and make sure your microphone can pick up your voice.
Tips for In-Person Communication
When it comes to talking with a person face-to-face there are some necessary etiquette tips you need to be aware of. First, in America especially eye contact is seen as respectful and necessary. You want to ensure that you’re making eye contact. Don’t divert your eyes to your phone, a television, or another area as it will have the other person thinking that you’re not fully listening to them. Don’t be afraid to use hand gestures when talking. However, be mindful of the other person’s personal space and ensure your gestures aren’t invading it. If you are unsure of how you’re coming across, remember that mirroring other people’s tone, volume, and pose can help establish connection. Practice beforehand with native speakers who can notify you of specific communication quirks you may not be aware of.
Professional communication etiquette is something that every country has. When it comes to those in the United States, we have some cultural etiquette practices that define how we talk to one another. The above four groups of tips should help you to succeed in the professional world as an English-language learner.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger.She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan