Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Bonus Blog: Forward this blog to 10 of your friends and Microsoft will pay you 1 million dollars (and other respect destroying communications)

Our blog has moved. You will find this blog post and fresh content on our new Talascend IT blog.

All too often during the course of a normal business day people commit technology communication etiquette disasters without ever realizing it.  By committing even a couple of these faux pas on a regular basis can alter the way people view your professional image, lose respect in the eyes of the people you are communicating with, and potentially also lose credibility.

What other damaging email mistakes do you see?
Communication suicides are not a new phenomenon, one specific example comes to mind when I received a letter in the mail 25 years ago from a close relative who I very much looked up to.  There was a single dollar bill in this letter, along with instructions for how I could make a fortune by sending out 10 dollars of my own money to 10 different people…and eventually I would receive many times that back as the pyramid continued to grow.  I never forgot this, and my relative’s image has been tarnished ever since that this was considered such a successful way to make money that they would recruit their own family into the scheme.

As postal mail has given way to e-mail, Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter a whole new slew of potential communication disasters have been created.  Before you send out that next e-mail, or go into that upcoming interview, or reach out to a prospect on Linkedin - you should crosscheck what you’re about to do with the following list of reputation killers.

When you read some of these they sound like common sense, some are even comical, yet they all happen many times every single day.  Jeff Foxworthy has a very successful routine built around “You might be a redneck if….”jokes, so with that in mind this is the “You might be ruining your reputation….” list of technological suicide communications. 

You might be ruining your reputation if….

  1. You forward an e-mail that starts or ends with “If you forward this e-mail to 10 friends…”
  2. You hit reply all on an e-mail where the response should only go back to the message originator, not all 500 recipients.
  4. You try to connect to to someone on Linkedin whom you’ve never met- and you don’t write a personalized message letting them know why you are stalking them.
  5. You stalk someone weekly on Linkedin looking at their profile and always showing up under the recently viewed list.
  6. You haven’t talked to someone in 20 years and you try to their friend on Facebook without sending any kind of personal message.
  7. You try to friend someone on Facebook who you vaguely knew 20 years ago and try to make them your friend on Facebook so you can see their pictures.
  8. You keep trying to be someone’s friend on Facebook no matter how many times they hit ignore.
  9. You send a txt using more emoticons than real worlds.
  10. You BCC someone on an e-mail.  (There is no good use for BCC)
  11. You CC someone on an e-mail in a conversation or topic they have never been included in and know nothing about.
  12. You forward an e-mail saying “FYI”, and nothing else after it- showing that you have not put any thought into what is important for the recipient to pay attention to.
  13. You send an e-mail that says “Got it” or “I’m on it” as a response to a task.
  14. You forward any e-mail that purports to be a dying child’s last wish to reach 10,000 people.
  15. You tell someone how they can make $1000’s of dollars working at home, or turning their computer into a money making machine.
  16. You ask someone if they really think that you are the sole benefactor of your long lost unknown uncle in Nigeria.
  17. You come into an interview and your phone ringer is the latest Nickelback song.

I encourage you to please leave a comment with any items you think should be on this list!