Social BuSineSS etiquette

the secrets of business success with social media

Henk nieuwenhuis

Social BuSineSS etiquette
the secrets of business success with social media

This book has been created upon request by and for IBM Nederland B.V. With special thanks to the following people who have been involved or reading the content during the making of. Their sharp advises or suggestions have been significant. �onald Velten Yuki Mitsunaga Akkie Jacobs Jessica Kwant Jan Kruisheer Andrea Looij IBM Nederland B.V. IBM Nederland B.V. IBM Nederland B.V. IBM Nederland B.V. Ogilvy Groep (Nederland) B.V. Ogilvy Groep (Nederland) B.V.

in contentS



1. Interaction 2. Professional and private 3. Collaboration �. Telephone 5. Internet 6. E-mail 7. �esources

8 1� 20 26 3� �0 �8

Copyright © 2008 Henk Nieuwenhuis Design: Peter Tromp Lay-out: Hannie van den Berg Printed by: Drukkerij Hooijberg Salland BV, Deventer First edition December 2008 Nothing in this edition may be duplicated and/or made public by means of printing, photocopying, microfilm or in any manner whatsoever without prior written approval by IBM Nederland B.V. ISBN: 978-90-813665-2-6

IBM Social Software Index

52 5�  

Social Business etiquette introduction

WHat iS Social BuSineSS?
Doing business is people work. Whether it’s with co-workers, clients or vendors, it’s about social interaction. For which we use more and more tools all the time. Telephone, internet and other resources make it possible to have professional contact with anyone, anytime. This business interaction via social media is what this etiquette handbook is about.

Stay yourSelf
“Be yourself.” They say that about personal relationships, and it also works for business relationships. But only when it doesn’t rub someone else up the wrong way. The environment and culture dictate the do’s and don’ts. For example, you are expected to observe good table manners during a business lunch, even if at home you might be known to eat with your elbows on the table. And all those jokes that you mail around to your friends on a daily basis, of course you don’t also mail to all your co-workers (no matter how funny).

BuSineSS etiquette
Is business etiquette different than normal etiquette? In theory, not really: the basic rules are the same. Good taste is something appreciated in business relations as much as in social ones. Manners ensure that others feel comfortable with you, not only in face-to-face contacts but also on the phone and in e-mail or other forms of internet-based interaction. Business etiquette paves the way to business success.

important SucceSS factor
Success in business depends on a great many factors. But the way in which you deal with and collaborate with others is one of the most important. And in today’s world, the person who also knows how “things are done” in multimedia environments has the biggest chance of business success. That’s where this handbook can help make your life (and work) not only more fun, but more promising.

We WiSH you every “Social SucceSS” and SucceSS in BuSineSS!
Martijn van Veen Mid Market Business Leader IBM Benelux  



Social Business etiquette 1. interaction

When it comes to doing business and collaborating, there are certain ground rules. most of them are only natural, but there are also those times when we’re not necessarily sure. let these tips inspire you. even if it’s just to be on the safe side. Because the most important thing in business relations is to be sure.

Good taSte at tHe taBle
When you’re having a business meal, you have the opportunity to highlight your good taste - almost literally. To start with, by ordering something that you don’t have to eat with your hands. And here again, remember your attention is for your party alone. Not your mobile phone, not your laptop, not any other accessory you may have. The other guests will also be thankful for the lack of ringing, beeping and clicking.

attention to tHe meetinG
These days, meetings may go by different names, but one

GivinG Space
Working in an open space is very modern. And while it looks dynamic and hip, it’s not always good for concentration. So have some consideration of those around you. And limit your decibels to a minimum by setting your equipment at the lowest volume level.

thing stays the same: they take time. And that’s a precious commodity. So be efficient and be focused. Turn off your mobile phone, drop whatever you’re doing on the internet and close your laptop. Unless you need it for the meeting, of course.

meetinG minuteS in (nearly) real time: it payS
�ight after the meeting, everything is still fresh in the memory. Which is why that’s the perfect time to write and send out the minutes, ideally by e-mail. The other participants will also still have everything fresh in their memories and can immediately respond by e-mail.

SenSitive iSSueS? perSonal contact!
If you have a co-worker with a unique and personal odour that not everyone appreciates, rather than saying something in an e-mail or other electronic message, a tactful hint brought to his or her attention in person can be enormously helpful in this type of delicate situation. So don’t mail, SMS, or let loose in an IM.

preSentationS: it’S aBout focuS
When you give a presentation, your audience is 100% focused on you. And you, of course, 100% focused on them. That’s why you should always make sure you put the right presentation on your computer - before you start. Imagine the chuckles and annoyed looks as you bring up the wrong presentation on screen, and then have to put your full attention to finding the right document (immediately putting off your audience in the process).

you’re tHe amBaSSador
In restaurants, at the airport or in transit, you can always recognise the businesspeople. By the clothes, the conversation, the mobile phone and the laptop. And the same goes for you when you’re working on the road. So act like a real representative of your organisation. Don’t be too loud when you’re on the phone, or better yet: go outside when you have a call. And don’t turn restaurants into a meeting room by doing business at your table, at a volume level for all to hear. It disturbs your neighbours, and your company logo is never that hard to spot.



Social Business etiquette 1. interaction

it’S a preSentation, not a concert
Picture yourself giving an important presentation. It’s going great, and your audience is buying into your ideas more and more as you go on. You boldly continue on with your winning story, your audience hanging on your every word. And then, just when you are about to deliver the clincher, the impact you’ve been developing is disrupted by a ridiculous ringtone... from your own pocket. Your audience goes from spellbound to snickering in an instant. And you’ve completely lost your train of thought. Next time, just put it on silent mode, or better yet, turn it off before you start.



profeSSional and private


Social Business etiquette 2. professional and private

in our 2-hour economy, our professional and private lives increasingly overlap. But they are still different worlds, and it’s best to keep that in mind. in professional situations, you will find that this is a highly valued trait. and your family probably thinks so too.

perSonal pHone callS on Work time
Whether you are allowed to make or take personal phone calls on work time depends on your corporate culture. But if you do make personal calls, keep them short and be aware of your environment; you never know who might be listening. Surely you will agree that not everyone in the office needs to know that your mother-in-law is calling about the Christmas visit again.

Work pHone callS outSide of Work HourS you need to “Start up” too
Your co-workers and clients are counting on you, so any time you are delayed, notify everyone as quickly as possible. And once at work, you have to be in work mode right away. But still, just like your PC, you need to “start up” before you get to work. So you start by reading (and answering) some e-mails, and catching up on your communities. Then you’re up to speed and don’t have to catch up on anything: message backlog is an increasingly urgent problem. Calling business associates at home is not standard practice. But if it ever does become necessary, then ideally you should only call after 8.30 a.m. and before 9 p.m. Not the other way around.

BuSineSS e-mail iS not perSonal
Your business e-mail is for... business communication. It sounds axiomatic, but you might be surprised how often people find themselves using their work e-mail for personal purposes. our co-workers probably find it very interesting that you moonlight as a clown for kids’ parties. But they might not be amused if your clown correspondence makes the rounds of the work e-mail servers. And it may be a violation of your company’s e-mail policy.

WorkinG from Home iS juSt like WorkinG
Beat the traffic and just work in peace and quiet: it’s no surprise that working from home has become such a staple of modern professional life. But you do have to remember that when you sit down at your desk at home, you’re at work. So don’t forget the little things, like always answering the phone with your surname and company name. And always being available by phone and e-mail during the hours that your co-workers in the office are. That doesn’t mean that you can’t answer the phone with your feet up on the couch – no one will know (and no one has to).

BrinG tHe family?
No one will think twice about a family portrait on your desk, but don’t make it a shrine. And likewise, make sure your business documents don’t always seem to be somewhere at home. It would be extremely embarrassing to your organisation, co-workers and yourself if sensitive business documents turn up in your paper recycling bin.



Social Business etiquette 2. professional and private

SHoWinG off your SkiinG moveS
Everybody likes picking out a personal screensaver. Some people even make their own slide shows. But do you ever use your laptop for presentations? If so, you might want to ask yourself whether you want to share your holiday snaps or personal photos along with your business insights and ideas.

you’re entitled to privacy in your BuSineSS relationSHipS, too
Over the course of any long-term business relationship, you tend to get to know certain personal matters about the other person along the way. Be careful with any such information, because privacy is a precious commodity. And devote a little personal attention to certain personal circumstances, like a marriage, illness or death in the family. Just do it the right way.





Social Business etiquette 3. collaboration

However cliché it may sound, mutual respect is the foundation of any successful collaboration. devoting more attention to what someone else wants than what you want yourself. It may be difficult in the short run, but you get a lot back for it in the long run. even if that effort is by phone or internet.

meetinGS: if you Have to do tHem, do tHem riGHt
Any meeting benefits from efficiency. A clear agenda and a discussion leader can work wonders. As can good preparations. Especially if you are using conference call or web conferencing resources.


These days there are ways to take part in a meeting without having to leave your own desk. Like Lotus Sametime, which lets you communicate with an instant messaging system. It’s about

one BiG family
Your co-workers are like your family: you don’t get to choose them. The trick is to keep your behaviour such that everyone, or at least most everyone, can get along. Act like a team player. Make sure it’s you getting the coffee once in a while. And refill the copier when you use the last sheet.

the fastest and most efficient way of meeting that there is.

StranGe cuStomS? WHen in rome...
If you do business with foreign associates, then communications are even more sensitive. So study their customs and adjust to them. Let your associates see that you are familiar with the dos and don’ts of their culture. They’ll thank you for it.

Nothing is more annoying than needing that one co-worker who you just can’t find right then. When even the reception staff don’t know where he is. Equally annoying is being found when you just can’t be disturbed. So always make it clear when you are unavailable (and when you are available again), at least during business hours if not around the clock. Fifty percent of good collaboration is good communication.

ScreeninG of information
Do you work with tools for sharing information with clients? Then screen that information. Surely you’d rather not have client A find out that client B pays that much less for the same thing? And don’t forget your company confidential information, which can’t just be let out in public. Appoint someone to take on the responsibility for that information.

tHey don’t See you, But you’re tHere
More and more means of working together faster and more conveniently appear all the time. Many of them involve an online connection. Because with most of these, you don’t see the people you are working with, you may feel the temptation to get a little informal. Don’t. It’s still your associates that you’re dealing with. The minute you get sloppy, it could cost you a client.



Social Business etiquette 3. collaboration

complaint? Stay polite
Do you have a complaint about a vendor? Whenever this happens, handle it as if you would if you didn’t have any of the modern methods of communication at your fingertips. Personal. Polite. �espectful. And call or make an appointment: an SMS or e-mail can come across as blunt and pushy.

HoW formal?
The way people address each other differs in every country and language. Luckily, in English, life is easy; you can say “you” to anyone, and most people are on a first-name basis with their associates. But if you deal with foreign clients in a foreign language, using the informal pronoun or addressing a client by first name can be fatal to a cooperative relationship.

conference callS? no, tHank you!
Often, you will find that foreign associates shy away from conference calls, having a strong preference for person-toperson contact. Be aware of this, and don’t engage modern technology where it does more harm than good.





Social Business etiquette . telephone

is there still life without mobile phones? We all agree that the mobile telephone has become a primary necessity. and the temptation is great to reach for this handy appliance at any and every moment, appropriate or not-so-appropriate. But do you really have to call your wife during a meeting? are you sure you couldn’t wait until you get home to make that appointment with your hairstylist? and do you really have to pick up even when called at an inconvenient moment?

in tHe order received
If you use call waiting, always give the first caller your attention in favour of the second. Don’t put someone who called first on hold endlessly to help a second caller. Can you ask the second caller to call back shortly? If it’s too urgent, then explain very politely to the first caller and arrange a time for you to call back.

don’t Be Sneaky WitH tHe Speaker
Sometimes putting someone on the speakerphone can be very handy. But do say so before you do it, so the person on the other end is aware that other people on yours are listening. In fact, introduce them right away, to make things clear and move the discussion along.

tHe caller iS kinG?! Smile! you’ve Got a pHone call!
When the phone rings, you have every reason to smile. It might be a satisfied client! (Or maybe a potential satisfied client.) So always smile when you answer the phone: your smile comes across on the other end. The caller will feel welcome, and that opens doors to all sorts of business (and personal) advantages. If you’re in a meeting with a business associate, don’t let the telephone distract you. How would you feel if someone answered his phone while he was talking to you? Just make sure your voicemail is on. Your associate deserves your undivided attention.

voicemail pleaSe Hold WHile i tranSfer you...
Every caller wants to be helped quickly, no matter what the reason for the call. Make sure that you answer the phone within three rings, and don’t give the caller the run-around by transferring him or her from one extension to the next. Being able to listen and providing immediate assistance is the best basis for a pleasant telephone conversation. Do you use voicemail? Make sure that the content and tone of your message is appropriate. Whacky answer messages or hearing a famous personality instead of you may not go over well with all callers. And does your message say that you will call right back? Then be sure you do.

c’eSt le (rinG)ton qui fait la muSique Handle direct numBerS WitH care
Can your clients reach your employees by phone directly? If so, establish a clear procedure for answering and transferring. Of course you can’t have a client phone call being answered with “Hello?” or “This is Jim.” If you’re in business company but still have to stay reachable by mobile, make sure that your ringtone is appropriate to your position and organisation. Not everyone will appreciate your Tarzan’s yell ringtone.



Social Business etiquette . telephone

viSitorS firSt
If you are on the phone when an associate comes to meet with you, wrap up your phone call as quickly as possible. You can always call back later. A visitor who has to wait too long might just never come back.

do you Have to Send tHat SmS riGHt noW?
SMSing during a meeting or one-on-one is just plain irritating. No SMS could possibly be so urgent that you have to send it right then. Wait until you have a break. If you absolutely have to send it NOW, excuse yourself to do it somewhere private. In the restroom, for example.

If World Cup Football is on, and there are matches being played during business hours, most people will understand that you want to follow the action, but not everyone wants to join you. Don’t embarrass yourself or them by receiving a loud beeping SMS message at every goal.

SmS ServiceS
Do you have a subscription to some kind of SMS service that sends you messages at random times throughout the day? Of course, you are perfectly entitled to do so. Just turn the sound off.


Do you have people who need to work together from different workspaces? With Lotus Connections, co-workers work together as teams in a virtual space in which they have access to everything: profiles, documents, weblogs and more. Even if they’re on the other side of the world, everyone can work together fast and efficiently.

in tranSit
You see phone calls being taken in transit more and more. (Not that that’s surprising with all the traffic problems these days.) If you have to do this, make sure you’re in a position to have a normal, understandable conversation. With that in mind, taking a call in a noisy cafe or next to a pile-driver may not be very advisable.

Sick 2day, l8r
Are you sick and unable to make it to work or to your business

SmS :-) or :-( ?
Do you use SMS for business? That’s a decision that only you should make. But if you do, keep your SMSs businesslike. Not everyone will understand K€ (1000 euro), and sometimes even J can backfire on you. Not all communications are suitable for communication by SMS. You wouldn’t want someone to cancel an important meeting or business lunch with you by SMS, would you?

appointment? Don’t SMS yourself out sick; call. The people at work want to hear it from you in person.

typinG faSt can Be HazardouS
It takes just one slip to send a message meant for Anne to Anna by mistake. Which can have disastrous consequences. Are you sending a sensitive message? Double-check the number you’re sending it to. If you don’t, you might be embarrassing not only yourself, but the recipient of your message as well.



Social Business etiquette . telephone

a picture SayS more tHan a tHouSand WordS
The same rules that apply to SMS messages also apply to MMS messages, only more so. You have to be even more careful about what you send. You might be able to do damage control on the few words of a poorly formulated SMS message, but a picture is, as they say, worth a thousand words.

conference callS: Speak up!
What you don’t say is every bit as important as what you do say, if not more so. This is especially true in meetings: half of what goes on in a meeting is facial expressions and body language. So when you’re taking part in a conference call, be aware that your non-verbal behaviour is not going to be noticed. If you don’t agree with something, a furrowed brow is not going to help. Speak up!





Social Business etiquette . internet

the internet. Without a doubt the most important new medium for interaction and doing business. Being able to have actual contact remotely in real time and take immediate action is a major boon. But don’t let that distance let you fall into extremes of impersonality or familiarity. find the right balance.

internet anyWHere... But not anytime
For some, mobile internet solutions are an exciting expansion of the potential of the internet. But it’s rude to stay online when others in your company are expecting your attention. Like during meetings, group lunches, or work outings.

your profile aS deluxe BuSineSS card
Just like outside of the workplace, in some organisations internal or external chat rooms and internet or intranet communities are facilitating communication and collaboration. For many of these, you are requested to make a

only one cHance to make a firSt impreSSion
Video conferencing is the latest high-tech take on the traditional meeting. You appear imposingly and continuously on the screen in front of your discussion partner(s) on the other end. So make sure you are dressed properly and your desk is uncluttered. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that goes double with video conferencing.

profile for yourself. Try to state all relevant information, but keep it professional. “Married, two children” is fine, but talking about your hobbies or the latest things your kids are up to in school is something better saved for your family and friends.

do you knoW WHere your profileS are?
You may also be active on other online networks of personal interest, and have your own profile on some of them. Some of these are easy to find by your co-workers and clients with any search engine. Of course, your profile on an outside network may differ from your professional profile, but make sure that your outside profiles couldn’t possibly give anyone you work with the wrong impression.

iS tHiS tHinG on?
Sometimes during a video conference you might have something to discuss privately with the people in the room with you. If so, make sure that the video connection is off when you do. There’s nothing more awkward than broadcasting the very thing you wanted to keep private. And it generally doesn’t help your relationship with the person or persons on the other end.

your BloG or mine? diction iS extra-important
Often the result you get with video conferencing is delay and a blurry picture. And the sound quality also may leave something to be desired. To allow for this, make sure you speak as clearly as you can and be very emphatic in your body language. That’s the only way to get your positions across as if it were a “real” meeting. The context behind the blog (business or personal) makes a world of difference. If you blog on your own time, make it clear on your blog that you are not blogging in your professional capacity. It goes without saying that company information must never be put up on your blog. That will surely lead to trouble, which is surely not your intention.



Social Business etiquette . internet

once Written, tWice SHy
If blogging appeals to you, just do it! Especially if you have something unique to contribute or if it helps you profile yourself professionally. But before you let fly with your unvarnished opinion or reveal your inner secrets, think about this: what you write will be out there. Forever. For anyone who cares to go looking for it. And that includes future co-workers, employers, or clients.

coz not everyone’S fluent in cHat
In a group, it is generally considered poor taste to speak in a language that not everyone understands. That goes for whether it’s a foreign language or one of the many dialects of e-mail messages, chat sessions and communities. The internet is full of subcultures that develop their own lingo, often with elaborate new vocabulary or snappy abbreviations (such as “CUL8�” for “see you later”). Of course, nothing is stopping you from communicating this way with your personal contacts. But it has no place in business communications. Not everyone is familiar with these conventions, so your message may not have them �OTFL.

in cHat roomS, tHe WritinG iS on tHe Wall
You may find yourself alone with a co-worker in a chat room or on a blog, and feel like you have the place to yourself. Whatever you do, don’t get too personal in your conversation with the idea that you’re having a private conversation. Because your “tête-à-tête” will still be there for anyone who logs in later to read.

SurfinG WHile WorkinG?
Whether or not surfing the internet on work time is permitted depends on the nature of your organisation. A florist or a courier company most likely has no interest in its employees whiling away the time on the internet throughout the day. In an office environment, the internet is generally seen as a constant source of information, and internet use is more accepted. But it is still very advisable to have clear rules in place. Visiting compromising websites or ordering your Sunday shopping may violate the standards of conduct within your business.

BuSineSS cHattinG iS relevant communication
Instant messaging is a tool that lets you communicate in real time with other people who are online. Messaging can be a very efficient way of exchanging information directly. If that information is relevant, that is. So be short and to the point. Jokes and personal information become very bothersome to your co-workers very fast. �emember that every time you send an instant message, the recipient’s work is disrupted by a beep.

addreSSinG in cHat SeSSionS?
In most situations, contributing in chat sessions without addressing people directly is generally accepted. But responding specifically to a particular message by a particular person is another matter. For the sake of courtesy, you might want to identify the name of the person in question. �esponses like “�obert, I totally agree” or “@�obert: I think so too” are customary. It makes �obert happy, and everyone knows who you are responding to.





Social Business etiquette . e-mail

every day, more and more people get more and more comfortable with e-mail, and it shows in our inboxes. And makes it more and more difficult (and time-consuming) to separate the wheat from the chaff. also, because e-mail is and remains personal communication, it’s a good idea to think about how we deal with it professionally.

don’t forGet to SiGn
Your “signature,” containing your name, position and contact information always appears at the bottom of your e-mails. This makes sure the recipient always knows exactly who the message came from and how he or she can reach you. Your e-mail client can be easily set to place this signature at the bottom of all your e-mails automatically.

kidneSt reGradS
While most typographical or grammatical errors will be forgiven in personal e-mails, the same cannot be said for professional e-mails. As an employee, you are your employer’s

a Good Salutation openS doorS
An e-mail message is fast becoming the modern day personal letter. So always use a proper salutation, one befitting the relationship with the recipient (of course). Depending on that relationship, that may mean “Dear Mr. Jones,” or among colleagues, “Dear Tom” may be appropriate.

“business card,” and are expected to be perfect in all your contacts with external parties. So check your business e-mails for spelling and grammatical errors before you send them.

SuBject pointS tHe Way
You can help the recipient of your e-mail by clearly describing what your message is about in the subject line. This tells the recipient up front what the subject matter is, and also helps him or her to refer to the message later if necessary.

reply WitHout Salutation (SometimeS)
From time to time you have brief flurries of e-mail back and forth between you and a particular person. The first e-mail should use your normal salutation. In your subsequent replies, you may leave it out, and suffice with “OK, let’s do it!” (for example). In other situations, particularly in e-mails to clients, it is advisable to always use the appropriate salutation in each reply.

forWard only relevant information
Forwarding an e-mail is a convenient and effective way of sharing information with third parties. Before you forward, check whether you really want to share the entire e-mail exchange with the recipient. This can spare the recipient from having to sort through a hodgepodge of irrelevant information. And save you from sending someone else’s possibly sensitive information to someone it was not meant for.

mS janSen? i mean mr jenSen!
There is nothing as impersonal as spelling someone’s name wrong. Except perhaps addressing a mister with “Ms” or vice versa. If in doubt, start with “Dear sir or madam,” so as to not embarrass the recipient. 



Social Business etiquette . e-mail

Be Brief, Be clear
“Writing is editing,” and that goes double for e-mail. �emember that reading on-screen takes more effort than reading on paper. So formulate your messages as clearly and succinctly as possible. The recipient should be able to read your entire message on one screen, without scrolling.

don’t Send your emotionS WitH a click
Emotions, criticism and confidential information do not belong in a business e-mail. In an e-mail, conflicts come across as more severe, and as a result become more entrenched. If there’s something on your mind, use your e-mail message to ask if the other person could come and speak with you. Or better yet, take the time to call.

cc’S a croWd
A cc to half the company is a matter of point and click. Before you do that, ask yourself whether all those cc’s really have an interest in reading this message. If not, you are unnecessarily disrupting their work, which is not always appreciated. In some cases, sharing information can be counter-productive!

uSe tHe Bcc WHen privacy iS crucial
Before sending an e-mail to multiple addressees, consider whether all the recipients want to have their e-mail addresses going out. If someone doesn’t, put his or her address in the bcc line. But then be sure to say so in the message. Otherwise people might wonder about who the mystery recipients are.

tHe minuteS are attacHed
Will what you have to say take more than one screen to say it? Like, for example, the entire minutes of a meeting? If so, then send it in a text document as an attachment with your e-mail. The reader can then file it easily and, if so desired, print it out to read it.

SHHHHH... it’S a Secret!
If you do want to share a message without letting others know, you should use the forward function rather than the bcc function: this prevents the risk of your secret recipient accidentally using the “reply all” feature when answering you.

keep your attacHmentS Slim cHeck tHe addreSSeeS Before you Hit “Send”
With some e-mail applications, all you have to do is start typing the name of the recipient and the address is filled in automatically. Handy, but it can cause problems to people in a hurry. Before you know it, the message you thought you were sending to Jim in accounting has been sent to Jim the client. So always check the addressee before you hit “send.” This can save you a lot of trouble, from the mildly awkward to the extremely embarrassing. Of course, you should send attachments with your e-mails when you think it necessary... and relevant. But photos and videos are notoriously large files, and it doesn’t take many of them being forwarded around to grind any mail server to a halt. A better approach is to put photos, videos and other large files on a server and send a link to the file location in your e-mail.  

Social Business etiquette . e-mail


Do you regularly have to exchange attachments or large files with your co-workers? Then use Lotus Quickr, a central point for exchanging documents fast and conveniently. It gives everyone real-time access to the knowledge they need. And it saves you a lot of time and trouble. (Not to mention, keeps your IT manager sane by keeping large files off the mail server.)

moBile e-mail traffic
Mobile e-mailing is becoming more and more popular in business circles. But advances in technology also require you to make changes in the way you handle messages. For example, you should keep your messages as short as possible for many reasons, including because messages sent mobile might be more susceptible to hacking. And of course, when writing messages on the road you need to make sure that the person next to you isn’t looking over your shoulder.

quick reSponSe
Perhaps you can’t or don’t want to reply to a particular e-mail right away. The sender will almost certainly understand that, but will also be wondering whether you have read the message yet. With that in mind, you should respond to say that you received the message and will reply later. The sender of the original message will appreciate it, and will not bug you with a reminder.

Stop tHe Hoax in itS trackS!
Hoaxes are bogus messages sent by sick minds. A popular hoax message is a (fake) virus warning urging you to “forward this message to everyone in your address book.” Don’t do it! It only puts an extra burden on your mail system and helps the originator of the message to get what they want: worry people and get attention.

tHat tHinG iS drivinG me nutS!
The average office worker receives e-mail all day long, some more urgent than others. Hearing that “new mail” beep every few minutes does not promote concentration. It can be a problem when you’re trying to focus on getting something done. Which is why it’s ok to turn your e-mail application off temporarily. And your co-workers can too, so be patient when they don’t reply quite as fast as you would like. They will also understand when you occasionally “blink off” so you can concentrate on a particular task.

reply? i meant forWard!
Once in a while you might want to blow off steam by e-mail. Say, you forward an e-mail exchange with a client to a coworker and add “What am I supposed to do with clients like these?” A few minutes later you receive an angry e-mail from that very client, who obviously read the words you thought you were writing to your co-worker. Lesson 1: always be sure you are clicking the right button, because there’s a world of difference between “forward” and “reply”!

E-mail can be very, very handy for efficient communication and exchanging information. But at the end of the day, it’s less effective at building up a relationship. That still requires a personal touch - if you want to do it right, that is. So don’t forget to meet face-to-face once in a while, too. Or instead of sending an e-mail, grab a cup of coffee.  



Social Business etiquette . resources

Since time immemorial, collaboration and doing business have been a matter of direct contact. But thanks to developments in recent years, physical proximity is becoming much less of a necessity. in fact, these days you might well be in closer touch with someone on the other side of the world than someone down the street. the equipment and software we use today to keep ourselves in touch have nearly limitless potential. they can be with us anywhere, anytime. So it becomes very important that you set your own limits.

WHen to lend out your computer... and WHen to BorroW one
You prefer to work on your own PC or laptop. But if you really have no other choice, you might ask a co-worker if you can borrow theirs. If you do, never change the settings, documents or bookmarks. And if you need to use the internet with the borrowed computer, only visit the websites you need to in order to perform your work. Because internet use is more and more closely monitored, you could very easily get your co-worker into trouble.

SHarinG data in one place
The strength of data sharing is that all the relevant people can always have access to the right data. So always agree on a place (real or virtual) where the data will be stored (like a server) and always save your updates in the agreed

WHat’S on tHe menu
If you have a central phone switchboard, then a telephone menu might be a good idea, especially if you have a lot of different departments. If a queue is unavoidable, at least provide some diversion. After all, if the caller is willing to wait for you, you could at least show you care. A little light music or a waiting time announcement would go a long way. You can also insert information announcements, to get in a little advertising for yourself in the process.

place. This will promote mutual collaboration.

uniformity BuildS team Spirit
In a project team, you often share information via documents. In the team, determine the format and structure the documents need to have and stick to it. All team members can then always get the information they need in the way they are familiar with. This keeps people from having to reinvent the wheel and promotes team spirit by keeping people working in the most uniform possible manner.

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: when you’re talking with a client or another important associate, make sure your BlackBerry doesn’t try to butt in on the conversation.

uSB StickS are alWayS empty! (except WHen tHey’re not)
When you need to share information, use the servers, intranet and e-mail at work as much as possible. Your employer usually has the most comprehensive security, to prevent sensitive company information from falling into the wrong hands. Only use USB sticks and portable hard disks if that is the only option. And if you do, format them immediately after transporting the data to minimize the chances of company data being “lost.”

tHe temptation of tHe very lateSt verSion
Most employers try to keep the best software in house and make sure they are always using the latest versions. Thanks to modern software security measures, in most cases it’s impossible to copy software from work and install it on your computer at home. But if it turns out you can, don’t. This is something that can really damage your employer if it comes out. 


Social Business etiquette iBm Social Software

iBm Social SoftWare

tHe advantaGeS of iBm Social SoftWare
- Certainty: absolutely secure communication and collaboration - Flexibility: expand your existing systems without limit, suitable for every platform - Productivity: more efficient collaboration, faster decisionmaking - Savings: all features in one simple solution

Better collaboration: this is how!

lotuS quickr knowing how to colaborate successfully is all well and good, but then you need to have the right people and the right resources. after all, what good are table manners unless you also have a perfectly set table and good company? that’s why iBm has developed a wide range of social software. Software that any organisation can use to not only work together more efficiently and more pleasantly, but to make relationships with clients and vendors function faster and better.
- Exchange documents quickly and easily at a single central point - Meet with team members at different work locations, wherever they may be - Always real-time access to knowledge and information

lotuS Sametime
- Faster communications with native instant messaging system - Work together with team members without leaving your workspace - Faster response times, reduced travel costs and better service to your clients

lotuS connectionS
- For intensifying specific collaboration within your organisation - Help teams keep each other up to date on projects with profiles, communities and weblogs - Facilitate team sharing of bookmarks, best practices and to-do lists For more information on IBM Social Software, visit and see our small and medium-sized business solutions. 



Social Business etiquette index

A Advertising Airport Attention Appointment Attachments Available B bcc’ing Body language Business card Business lunch BlackBerry Blogging Bookmarks C Calling back Call waiting cc’ing Chat room Chatting Co-workers 29, 30 29 �� 37, 38 38, 39 6, 7, 10, 16, 17, 22, 30, 37, 38, �6, �7, 51 F Family Files Flexibility Football Foreign Forwarding 16, 17, 18, 22, 37 �5, �6 53 30 23, 2�, 39 �3, �5, �7 MMS Mobile internet Mobile phone Mother-in-law M Messaging Meetings 38 11, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37, �� 32 37 10, 11, 28 17 � �eplying �esponse time �estaurant �ingtone �2, �5, �7 53 10 12, 29 �5 32, 36 37, �3 7, 30 50 37, 38 51, 53 E Efficiency E-mail 23 6, 11, 16, 17, 2�, 39, �1, �2, �3, ��, �5, �6, �7, 51 L Laptop Link Listening in Lunch 10, 11, 18, 51 �5 29 37 D Data Documents 51 17, 30, �6, 51, 53 IT manager 50 10 10, 11, 18, 22, 29, 37, �7 2�, 28, 31 ��, �5, �6 16, 22 Coffee Copier Copying Community Conference call Conflicts Clients 16, 37, 39, 53 23, 2�, 32 �5 6, 16, 23, 2�, 28, 37, 38, �2, �7, 52, 53 22, �7 22 50 Informal Instant messaging Internet I Information 18, 23, 37, 38, 39, �3, ��, �5, �7, 50, 51, 53 22, 2� 23, 38, 53 6, 11, 22, 35, 36, 39, 51 �6 P Party Personal contact Phone switchboard Photos Platform Presentations Primary necessity Printing Privacy Profiles Projects 11 10, 39, �7 50 18, �5 53 11, 12, 18 28 �� 18, �5 30, 37, 53 53 H Hacking Hard disk Hoax �7 51 �7 O Office Online 16, 17, 39, �6 22, 37, 38 N Network Minutes 37 11, ��, �6, �7  

S Salutation Scrolling Search engines Security Server SMS Social Software Speaker Spelling errors T Team spirit Teams Telephone Traffic Transferring (calls) Travel costs 51 30, 53 6, 28, 29, 50 16, 31, �7 28 53 �2 �� 37 50, 51, 53 17, �5, �6, 51 10, 2�, 30, 31, 32 52, 53 29 �2, �3

U USB stick V Video Videos Virtual Voicemail Vendors W Waiting period Working from home Work outing Web conferencing Weblog Writing Website 50 16 37 23 30, 53 11, 38, ��, �7 39, 51 36 �5 30, 51 29 6, 52 51 

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful