Chat applications are present in almost all the large organizations, however, not sure how not many provide a formal training on how to effectively use this tool. Since past few years there have been many cases (both within and outside the media coverage) where a lot of people have got into trouble due to miscommunication over the Chat applications, at times some have even lost their jobs as they inadvertently communicated some information to a customer which was confidential in nature.

To most of us know Chat as just another quick¬† form of conversation with other person, but in reality, it’s very different from a face to face communication or telephonic conversation. We all know from the soft skills training sessions that good communication has a lot to do with Body Language, voice tone, eye contact, aligning to facial expressions of the customer (this one is more applicable for sales people though!!) etc. However all this key information is absent when we Chat, so there is always a chance of making some metal assumptions and going wrong.

To avoid such communication gaps, here are some rules which i generally follow while Chatting, you may add onto the list

1) Many people have a lot of things to do in a day, hence before the pinging deciding what we need to chat with the other person helps keep it focussed

2) Give people time to respond, these days we don’t know if a person is using a keyboard or a tablet or a mobile phone for responding to the chat, some of these are awfully slow and frustrating to type, some might not be as fast as you in typing.¬† Therefore wait for the other person to respond, lot of chat applications even show that other person is trying to type.

3) Try not to be judgmental based on the initial conversations, some people are very slow and abrupt in response due to multiple reasons and not everyone has used keyboard all through their lives, hence don’t respond abruptness with abruptness, remain professional and polite

4) Jargon, slang and abbreviation should be avoided unless you have a very good working frequency

5) AVOID HUMOUR unless other party initiates, there are all types of cultural and personal differences on the humour topics, some may treat this as offensive

6) Never ask personal questions, unless you know the person very well

7) You are representing your company over the Chat, before hitting the enter key think whether it will harm the image of your company

8) You may think that the chat is over, but the other person may not, hence always end the chat and thank the other person for the time.

9) Always use availability status features

10) Be careful with handling confidential conversations

Like many other Web tools Chat applications have also been used incorrectly, at times they can seriously work against a person in not appropriately used. As the internet and Internet of Things evolve around us, we also need to scale up our learning on using such things wisely and exploit them towards our own benefits!!!

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