As children we’re told to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. As an Adult I encourage this behaviour in my children so they will be seen as polite, helpful and well-rounded. There’s a perception that when this is not said one is considered rude.
This works well in verbal communications – it’s quick and there really is no extra effort involved. But in email or other text messaging politeness can drive me to distraction.
I’m not thinking of when I thank a client for trusting me with coaching their marketing team or praising individuals at the the end of a website project (I must do this more often) but the little niceties within day-to-day communication.
Examples such as: receiving an email reply from a client after I’ve just sent them a file or some requested information and thus pinging up another notification, or yes, another email to peruse and process. Or, using what little cognitive energy I have left to decide whether or not to reply to their ‘Thank you’ message with a equally amiable ‘My pleasure’ and in doing so, cause my client to be distracted by my notification.
Don’t get me started on how much email pre-amble I should use – When does it stop!
Thankfully Basecamp, a project management tool we rely on at Rather Inventive, introduced two ideas in their new software that have helped to reduce my stress levels, thus affording me more time to focus on the important communication, where it matters.
- Applause – Rather than thanking a person by typing a reply (thus treating the whole team to yet another message) you can click on a little ‘Applause’ link which sends a nod to the person that you’ve noticed their work. It’s a ‘like’ button for work stuff, and used sparingly it has impact.
- Campfire – A simple real-time text message between you, your team and your client that you can dip in and out of, doesn’t notify you of every message and stays out of the way when you need to focus.
So dear client or friend, if you think I’m being too curt or even possibly downright rude, know that I am actually saving you time by not creating another email for you to process.
Image credit: Basecamp 3