With Email, First Impressions Happen!
As the proprietor of two email etiquette sites, it is common for folks to think I am too sensitive and give me a hard time regarding email etiquette. I’ve also been told that I make a “big deal” out of nothing and that I am “old fashioned.”
I resemble that remark!
These same onliners say all this “email etiquette stuff” doesn’t matter.
Last week, I was asked, “Who do you think you are?” (I’ll save the answer to that for another time!) More than a couple of onliners stated they don’t care what others think of them based on their emails. That is their choice.
But is it a wise one?
Perception is the Only Reality. Fact.
It is possible to honestly not care if you leave an unfavorable impression. But, then again, there is nothing wrong with caring about how you are perceived.
You get up in the morning, shower, iron your clothes, and groom your hair — all because you care about how you look, right? (Well, maybe you don’t — in that case, I get where you are coming from, and so do those you come in contact with.)
You pay attention to your grooming not necessarily because of what others may think but because you want to put your best foot forward. Hopefully, you want to look good for yourself. You know that how you present yourself leaves an impression.
When you send an email in all lowercase, filled with typos and grammatical errors, what is the person on the other side of the screen to think? Likewise, when you forward emails without review or comment and have no thought about whether the other side will be interested, how does that make you look?
How You Are Perceived IS Up to You
Those who know you very well will probably shrug their shoulders. They may wonder why you don’t make the simple effort to reflect a little courtesy.
While those who don’t know you will form an impression. An impression that, if negative, will take twice the effort to shake. Recipients will surmise what type of person you are and what is important to you based on your actions.
Some of these impressions include what level of education you may not have (educated folks communicate in an educated manner). Or why you do not seem to care about how others will view you by simply communicating correctly.
You could be perceived as a fish out of water regarding proper technology use. Worse yet, someone who is so selfish that they are unable to think about those on the other side of the screen.
Neither of which leaves a positive impression.
First Impressions Happen…
…and you can control what they will be. There is no downside to comprehending the nuances of proper technology use and making little effort to reflect knowledge, courtesy, and understanding. Why not make a simple effort to practice acceptable technology use?
It is a win-win. The benefits are many, and believe me — it won’t hurt!
If you think about it, you never know who will see how you communicate online. It could be a new friend, a new partner — or someone that will offer you that new job you’ve been hoping for.
So why not do all you can to make a stellar impression?