Most professionals understand when to present their business card and the limits of casual Fridays, but the digital world has its own set of norms that may differ from traditional business etiquette. Here are some tips for impressing your colleagues with your digital prowess while minding your P's and Q's:
- Embrace your digital persona. Signing up for a social network or placing your email address on your business cards is a bad idea if you're not going to use those tools. Complete your social networking profiles, actively engage people on the site, and reply to emails and messages promptly. Anything less will leave contacts thinking you're rude or ignoring them.
- Separate your personal and professional self. Create separate accounts for sharing personal and professional information. This way you won't inadvertently share personal information with your colleagues and business contacts. People have been dismissed or reprimanded for things they've posted on social networks so put your best foot forward in the digital world at all times.
- Know when to disconnect. Although digital devices are ever increasingly more pervasive, it is still considered a faux pas when your cell phone rings during a meeting or when you peck away at your tablet or mobile phone while someone is speaking. A great rule of thumb is to be as digital as those around you. If most of the people in the room are taking notes and sharing information digitally during a meeting feel free to do so, if not, stick with an old fashioned pen and pad.
- Don't be self-conscious. Some professionals are still becoming accustomed to their colleagues' digital savvy, so they may stare or ask questions when you whip out your tablet or smart phone. Try not to be offended or condescending if they go to you for help. Answer their questions politely and you may win a new ally in the digital universe.
- Be Human. Digital platforms shouldn't be used to say argue or deliver bad news. These messages are still best given in person or via phone.