ANALYZING NETiquette’s VIRGINIA SHEA’S ADVISE (1)

Nowadays the overlooking NETiquette’s principles are practically equivalent to not knowing how to read or write since it is the way we are communicating in recent years, and doing it incorrectly, can cause us some difficulties.

Although it may seem incredible and despite the fact that this term took shape almost 30 years ago, many people still do not know it and if they have heard of it, in many cases they have not paid the necessary attention.

Thanks to the evolution of networks, spreading the many rules of this subject, has not become as complicated as a literacy process would have been in past centuries; However, it is difficult to find people capable of recognizing that they have much to learn in relation to this branch, either due to lack of humility or because it is difficult to believe that it is necessary to handle behavioral principles for something as simple as writing and the use of the varied resources that technology provides today by means of electronic devices at our fingertips.

It is imperative that it becomes an academic subject, but until that happens throughout the world, we are going step by step seeking to deepen each of the aspects that involve the extensive knowledge of NETiquette under a global business approach. To begin this task, we will focus on the book “Netiquette”, by Virginia Shea, known by many people, in which “The 10 Core Rules of Netiquette” was released for the first time, 27 years ago, in 1994. So let’s get started!

Remember the human on the other side of the electronic communication In online communication, it is very easy to forget that there is a human being who is going to receive our messages or someone behind the words we read. It’s easy to respond to a negative comment because it reads on a screen instead of looking into a person’s eyes. There is a kind of implicit and misguided “freedom” that often encourages acting or writing, without prudently weighing the consequences.

As it is not a face-to-face task, we will not know with certainty the tone, the emotion, the intention, the expression of the person who transmits and receives a text or even the intensity of a message and this can lead to misinterpretations with serious and irreversible consequences.  A misinterpretation creates a terrible impression of someone who does not even know – (On Internet, “the first impression” is stronger than in the face-to-face world) – since the way of expressing themselves, the way they answer, the attention paid, diligence, and other aspects of behavior, mark important guidelines in the perception of those who read us, even more so in the business world.

We have to understand that poor communication skills online, in addition to showing a negative or wrong image, could break relationships, destroy a reputation or create significant group conflicts.

It is not surprising, in today’s business world, meetings have become information by email, video calls, or video conferences. The pre-warning or rebuke that must be given in person is now given through a chat message or online communication. In the same way, corporate chat groups are something very common, such as the need for a Human Resources record, and here, we must ask ourselves if the administrators of these groups have the ability to support and consolidate that group of people, with the characteristics and skills of a Public Relations Officer; understanding that they are in the position, not just adding or removing participants, but even block or censor certain posts. That role function requires greater responsibility since he is responsible for several people who cannot see each other and that, due to a negative cerebral predisposition when communicating systems that do not provide the clarity of what is said and what is meant, they tend to misinterpret or react adversely to an endless list of ambiguous messages or instructions that lead to a series of dislikes and difficulties that are not always easy to fix.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that everyone has the right to privacy and free time, so when considering the company chats as an extension of the office is a serious mistake. The hours and days off must be respected outside working hours and the administrators of business groups or bosses must behave themselves under rules of respect and the emblem of giving to others the consideration to their private lives that they would expect to themselves.

It is necessary to emphasize that online contact does not allow implicit communication, therefore, it becomes ambiguous and it can be easy to offend or be offended. There is a great risk from the negativity bias in our mind programs to interpret ambiguity as negative. Our messages must be carefully thought out to be sent and an open mind is required to read those received. Who has not lived the fear of the message´s ghost that does not come with the idea that it is an unpleasant message? And when the messages arrive, if they are ambiguous, our brain will wander towards the worst possible interpretation. For this reason, it is important to work to assume a positive intention on the part of our issuer/sender and provide a positive interpretation when reading. If we are convinced that it has a negative background, we should ask an explicit question in the most respectful way possible, to clear up doubts. Based on these considerations, we have the obligation to aim for minimal or no ambiguity in our messages, with a transparent and trustworthy attitude. Sarcasm can be great for many people on many occasions, but chat is not the right channel.

A retaining wall is thinking if our written words could be manifested head-on/straightforward. It is very easy to write negative words or comments because we do not see or perceive the expression of displeasure, anger, frustration, or even pain, of the person who receives them. If the answer is no, we should review and rewrite until we are certain that we are not sending something that we do not really mean to be sent. When the messages involve emotions, it is better to wait for some time to stall and if it is unfailing, opt for the face-to-face message or the telephone. If there is an extreme circumstance in which we must express something that we know and it will not make the receiver happy, let us try to ensure that our message fully transmits what is required to be expressed and thus, avoid misinterpretations, such as an admonition or a dismissal that cannot be given directly, due to distance or connection problems.

Taking into account the human condition of our recipients, we do not send offensive or inappropriate messages, which can be saved and disclosed. Let’s remember that once we send, we lose control of how far it goes. Surely the aggravated person could feel the right to make the inappropriate message known if the circumstances require, even escalating to legal measures such as defamatory evidence or other major offense. There is the case of Oliver North, a White House email system user, PROFS, who naively and diligently deleted incriminating notes that he sent or received, but was unaware that, elsewhere in the White House, the systems´ managers, stored said notes that were later used as evidence against him during the trial in which he was convicted.

To end, there is the reference of the commercial world, in which the chat has become the customer´s favorite channel, because it provides instant responses and, when it is a live chat, a “human” side is shown as part of the corporate branding. Furthermore, it has been proven that companies that offer adequate chat services attain a 6% growth.

On the opposite side, there is 47% of consumers complain about not having a positive chat experience and it is not due to the answers that the person in charge of informing or attending can provide, but rather to how they write or express them. That can degrade or burden the customer experience by a large percentage. This bad experience can become even more intense if the chat service person in charge does not have the knowledge of NETiquette in terms of attention and service in networks; and this experience could become disastrous for not having the ability to assume that we are dealing with a customer who expresses a need, in many cases, loaded with emotions that we cannot see, but that must be prevented by responding with the necessary measures. Failure to do so and due to lack of knowledge can cause great harm to business growth, however, this issue will be dealt with extensively in another section.

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Writer by: Claudia STOHMANN R. de A. Communicator, speaker, writer, etiquette, and protocol expert. 

27 October 2021, Bolivia 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: CS271021BE    

 

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NETIQUETTE IN THE CORPORATIVE WORLD

Cellular Phone’s.

For everyone, the mobile phone has become an indispensable tool. Executives, and people in the business world, are no exception. On the contrary, they use this tool to make work and contacts effective in a much more practical way than we would have imagined 20 years ago.

Precisely, because of the importance of its use at a business level, some standards set forth in the branch of NETiqueta; must be observed with greater care to give it proper use without harming our personal projection.

Here are some well-known standards and other tips that can help you improve your professional image:

  • The golden rule in the network’s world is: “The values ​​that we show in our personal and work life, must transcend with more force in our online life.” Respect, empathy, and other values ​​such as honesty, transparency, consideration, etc., are the basis under the principle of treating others, as we would like to be treated.
  • Let’s modulate our voice tone when we are talking on the cell phone. Even in the middle of a very noisy party, we do not need to shout since the new cell phones are equipped with powerful filters that neutralize background noises and help our voice to be heard by our interlocutor, with relative clarity. In all public places, the moderation of the volume when we are speaking is important. If the person on the other side of the line cannot hear us and we are forced to raise our voice, it is appropriate to cover our mouth with the hand to minimize the resonance.
  • Let’s use good judgment with the ringtones and notification tones considering the circumstances in which we are going to be involved. It is a detail that could make a difference in the image we want to show. As another act of courtesy, let’s avoid setting the ringtone for several minutes. When our favorite melody in the world begins to sound, let’s keep in mind that it is not for the entertainment of those around us. If we are executives or business people, let’s remember that our long loud ringtones that can be annoying.
  • We need to be careful with call hours, and even messages. Traditional rules of Etiquette for landlines have been in place for many decades. We must be considerate of the schedules of our interlocutors. Not before 07:30 in the morning, during meal and nap hours, nor after 10:00 p.m. seeing the person “online” does not mean that they are available and forced to answer us.
  • When we make a call, after a quick greeting, our first sentence should be the question: “Can you speak?” Perhaps the person who has answered us (no matter how closely or trustworthy are) is in the middle of a meeting, driving, or in any event that is not the right one to take our call.
  • The easy availability that technology gives us to call and contact, does not give us the right to interrupt or impose our need for a response. Let’s not assume that the person on the other side of the line has an obligation to attend to us immediately. If we are the ones who make the call, we have to think that it is not appropriate to insist on the calls, one after another, or to make “never-ending” calls until they finally answer us. Under a logical criterion, let’s think that everyone has their cell phones close enough to answer it immediately, so three rings should be more than enough to assume that the other person is not going to answer; So, on the third ring, let’s cut the call.
  • Is necessary to obey the rules of the ” No Cell Phone Use Zones”. When attending conventions, conferences, or certain places, you can see signs with the prohibition of cell phone use, or notes asking that it please be turned off. If so, as a well-educated person, this recommendation should be observed and followed.
  • The table in any dining room is a prohibited area for cell phones. It is considered a place of ceremonial, to eat, share, talk and interact in a personal and direct way. Within the rules of Etiquette, cell phones do not have space at the table. In the business world, the cell phone should be put on silent or turned off for the time of a business meal and much better, kept in our briefcase or purse.
  • It is also not correct to hold it in our hand or place it exposed in the outer pocket. In addition, it is a matter of taking care of the image, since carrying the cell phone in the hand or in a very conspicuous place, can be taken as an attitude of ostentation or insecurity.
  • When we enter a meeting or interview, the mobile should never be put on the table or on the desk. It is a very negative non-verbal language signal that conveys what we are focused on, and what we give more importance or attention to.
  • In a face-to-face meeting, if a call or message is received, we should not answer. The smart thing is, to assess its importance or urgency to apologize if it becomes necessary to respond. The live conversation takes precedence over a virtual conversation and if we have to answer, let us try to be brief out of respect for our interlocutor or interlocutors who deserve our full attention. We will ask for the necessary permission to leave the place and answer, trying to move to a place far enough away where our conversation does not disturb. Upon returning, we will give the excuses due for the intrusion. It should be known that it is not correct to start talking in the middle of a meeting, even in a low voice, or covering our mouth to make it less annoying. It is a disrespectful attitude that interrupts and distracts those present. In the same way, it is a terrible lack of respect, that, in the midst of other people, we get distracted using the functions or applications of the device or worse, checking the notifications of our networks. They are details that can wait. Surely, if something most important comes up, a call will happen.
  • We must be prudent choosing the type of messages we send, since it is assumed that, if we send something, it is because we agree with its content or in some way, it reflects our tastes, education, or position in relation to certain situations. Let’s be careful not to offend or cause discomfort.
  • An appointment should not be canceled by message. Ideally, do it through a call. It will be a show of good manners and respect.
  • The way in which we write our messages or the images that we use must be a matter of care. Let us remember that it shows our level of training, good education, and consideration to those who read us. As a rule, within NETiquette, it should not be written in capital letters (CAPS), as it is a manifestation of raising one’s voice or shouting. On the other hand, we should not write in red or use emoticons if we are not completely sure of the meaning or use for which they have been created. To insist on good spelling and grammar, doesn’t hurt.

Finally, without the intention of being obstinate of undermining the freedom of the mobile phone user, and which may be considered by the owner “indispensable” (with few exceptions), we should consider that for many generations it has been possible to subsist without this device and at present, due to the little knowledge of many, it has become a device of common use but of annoying abuse and that must be governed under the principles of the “REC Formula”: Respect, Education and Common Sense, like a base of all the rules of Etiquette & Protocol.

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Written by: Claudia STOHMANN R. de A. Communicator, speaker, writer, etiquette, and protocol expert. 

14 September 2021, Bolivia 

Category: Business Etiquette 

Reference: CS140921BE

 

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!

NETIQUETTE (Network Etiquette)

For more than 20 years, it is a term that has been gaining global significance as new technologies advance by leaps and bounds. Some societies adopted other similar names, but their function is the same. Coming from the apocope “Net” (Network) and “Etiquette”, “NETIQUETTE” is a worldwide base to take care of good behavior on the network. Today, we can share a lot of information on this topic in the many spaces that distance communication and online information media permit us.

While ICT’s world grows up, a new world for communication and information has emerged, that created the need to establish rules to facilitate and optimize the use of new technologies and networks in all their forms, even more In these times when the whole world has been forced to be on the net for contact, meetings, work, studies, and information exchange.

All these rules are based on general concepts of respect and a good level of communication. We understand that being non-face-to-face means of communication, we frequently forget that our voice tone, our expressions, and our gestures cannot be transmitted accurately; and whoever receives our messages cannot objectively judge our motives and intentions or, maybe they could misinterpret them if we do not express it optimally.

Within this global sphere of relationships, a vast majority have fully learned that, on the other side of our electronic devices, there is a world of people with different cultures, religions, beliefs, and positions. For this reason, we must apply respect, common sense, and good education to conduct ourselves in a space in which everyone fits and in which everyone deserves the tolerance and good treatment above our particular position. Then, this remembers us, that the consideration that we expect from others to us, is the same consideration that we must give to others.

In addition, our good education and training are visible in our actions and this is increased in the networks; that is, if we are used to being respectful and considerate to others in our face-to-face life, we will surely show the same online. But, when this does not happen, our bad behavior transcends in a more notorious way. Under this analysis, the use of “Netiquette” is important so we all learn to conduct ourselves with the necessary correction.

Definitely, globalization has opened great and unthinkable possibilities of benefits in the network, but we also find a big dark side. We are not always going to be in contact with polite people or with similar principles as ours; for this reason, undervalues like respect, tolerance, and good spirits, prudence must prevail to create and maintain reflective links with those people with whom we do not interact personally, either in a particular aspect or in the business world.

Initially, thanks to a publication of the Institute of Informatics Ethics (CEI – Computer Ethics Institute); – considered as the most prominent organization for ethical computer use in the United States, founded in 1985 by IBM and other important institutions, among them, Washington Consulting Group-, in 1992, they made the hallmark “The commandments for Computer Ethics” created by Ramón C. Barquin.[1]

These commandments became popular in recent years to persuade good behavior and ethics at the use of a computer. However, over time they have undergone some modifications and at present, I have taken the liberty of making an adaptation for the use of ICTs, considering that a large part of the population has access to a cellphone or other connected electronic devices to the Internet.

These ethics commandments are:

  • You will not use an ICT to harm others;
  • You will not interfere with the work of others;
  • You are not going to meddle in other people’s files or ICT files;
  • You will not use an ICT to steal or carry out fraud;
  • You will not use an ICT to discredit, defame or publish unreliable information;
  • You will not use software that is not legal;
  • You will not use the computer resources of another person without their authorization;
  • You will not appropriate other people’s intellectual work;
  • You should think about the social consequences of the program you write or the system you are designing;
  • You should use ICT in ways that show consideration and respect.

Today, these commandments have become a small base of ethics for the world of “Netiquette”, since the networks had arisen from a computer and spread to thousands of social sites, chats, forums, emails, blogs, different types of meetings, and endless connections in which our knowledge and behavior online are tested. With time, there are other rules that are adapted according to the needs that arise with modernity and technology.

As a reference, we must mention the book “Netiquette” published by Virginia Shea in 1994 that contains “The core rules of Netiquette”[2] and the publication of Sally Hambridge as a directive of Intel in 1995, an official document like a guide to the company employees, to behave on the Internet.

We might recognize that thanks to today’s technology, great capacities had been acquired. Let’s assume that the Internet has given us growing power and, therefore, it must be handled with great responsibility.

[1] http://www.ethicscodescollection.org/detail/411d6362-5ab5-438b-82de-7a3575412f40

[2] https://coursedesign.colostate.edu/obj/corerulesnet.html

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Written by Claudia STOHMANN R. de A. Communicator, speaker, writer, etiquette and protocol expert, and ProtocolToday writer. 

26 August 2021, Bolivia 

Category: Business Etiquette

Reference: CS260821BE

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!