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Perilous pitfalls of texting for business

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

?4U: Do you often text to communicate with colleagues or the boss? If so, keep your professionalism intact. Business communications trainer Barbara Pachter offers these suggestions for making texting suitable for business:

1. Never text an apology. An NFL quarterback recently made headlines for his lame texted apology. Most people prefer a personal discussion, says Pachter. “Apologize in person, when you can,” she says. “If that is not possible, the telephone is the next best alternative.”

2. Send good news via text. Never bad feedback.

3. Need to change a meeting time or venue? Better call. Attendees may not check their phones in time.

4. Choose your words carefully. The same rule applies to texting as to e-mail. Watch your tone. If you need to add a smiley face in order to make your meaning clear, perhaps you shouldn’t type it at all.

5. Be careful with abbreviations. For example, says Pachter, “A colleague received ‘np’ after thanking someone for his help. It took him a few moments to figure out that ‘np’ meant ‘no problem.’”

6. Don’t text under the table during a presentation. It’s noticeable and distracting to the speaker.

— Adapted from “Don’t Text An Apology: Texting Etiquette Guidelines For Business,” Barbara Pachter’s blog Pachter’s Pointers.

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