The new rules for interoffice communication tools

Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book, Wait, How Do I Lead My Team? (available on Amazon in April 2019).

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  • Start sentences with capital letters and capitalize proper nouns until the co-worker on the other end proves he/she prefers lowercase words at all times. For example: “Do you have the report for the Nicholson account yet?”
    –    Once the other person shows a preference for lowercase words, you may choose to go with, “do you have the report for the Nicholson account yet?
    –    If you type with the case the other person prefers, you are always in the right.
  • In the same vein, stay away from emojis until the other person drops one first.
  • Even though the chatter through instant messages can be rapid fire, watch every word you type. Many communication tools act as archives so anyone with access can find past conversations in the program.
    –    Plus, a two or three-person dialogue can, the next day, include several more people. Maybe one of the new people wasn’t supposed to read a message that appeared a day before? Uh oh.
  • When the message thread includes clients, my opinion is to maintain proper rules of capitalization at all times — even if the other person is into lowercase writing and abbreviations.
    –    The client pays you for a service, and you should maintain a high level of professionalism.

This article first appeared on Danny Rubin.

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