Tag Archives: Communication

How to Flirt With Finesse

How to Flirt With Finesse

You might dress well, have a cool job, and be blessed with beauty, but flirting is where the real magic of attraction is, especially when it comes to first impressions. In fact, good flirting is often more effective than good looks, and it’s something anybody can learn how to do.

Make Friendly, Lasting Eye Contact With a Smile

Eye contact is pivotal when flirting, and Marin suggests it’s the best way to indicate your interest. It means the difference between a friendly “how-do-ya-do” conversation and a “I’d really like to get to know you” conversation. Whether you’re across the room or already talking, eye contact has been shown to boost feelings of attraction. In one study, published in the Journal of Research and Personality, strangers were asked to stare into the eyes of other strangers. After holding a mutual, friendly gaze for two minutes, most participants reported increased feelings of passionate love toward the stranger.

Marin says the trick to flirtatious eye contact is to maintain your gaze longer than usual. If you spot someone across the way, try to meet their gaze, hold it for a few seconds, and look away. Repeat this a couple times and, if they aren’t giving you weird looks, then make your approach. Be cautious, though. While a kind gaze does wonders, an unbroken, wide-eyed stare is creepy. If you’re worried you’ll go overboard, use the triangle technique and smile. Nothing says “I like you” like a big ol’ smile.

http://lifehacker.com/use-the-triang…

Approach From the Front

How to Flirt With Finesse

The wrong kind of approach will end things before they even start. When you see someone who piques your interest, Vanessa Marin, licensed marriage and family therapist and Lifehacker contributor, recommends you always approach from the front. Nobody likes being snuck up on by a stranger, and Marin notes this is especially true for men trying to approach women.

If they’re facing away, either make your way around, or wait for them to move. And if they’re at the bar, at least grab a seat next to them instead of rudely tapping them on the shoulder. Approaching them from the front also gives you both a chance to catch each other’s glance and gauge interest.

Give Compliments That Go Beyond Looks

Compliments are great for flirting, but they’re also a dime a dozen. Dr. Nerdlove, dating columnist and Kotaku contributor, suggests you step things up and compliment them on something they had a conscious hand in:

Complimenting somebody’s looks is both unoriginal and not terribly interesting. Letting someone know that you appreciate, say, their fashion sense or their insight, on the other hand, shows that you get them on a personal level.

“You’re cute” and “you have pretty eyes” aren’t going to cut it. If you can’t think of something that appeals to their choices, Marin says you should at least try and give them an unusual compliment. Say something like “you have a very confident-sounding voice,” or “you seem like someone who knows how to get the best out of people,” or “you have a delightfully offbeat personality.” Leave them with a compliment that will stick with them and make you unique.

Also, ditch the pickup lines and cheesy one-liners. One study, published in the journal Sex Roles, suggests that both men and women hate “cute-flippant” opening lines. Overall, participants in the study preferred openers that were more innocuous or direct. So skip the “Are you wearing space pants?” lines and try to strike up an actual conversation about the venue, music, or a mutual friend. Otherwise, just go for it and offer to buy them a drink or make a unique compliment.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-ways-…

Use Appropriate Touch to Show Interest

How to Flirt With Finesse

A light touch, done carefully, is an extremely effective form of flirting for both men and women. Light touching shows interest beyond a doubt. Additionally, your flirting may not be as obvious as you think it is, so it’s a great for being more direct, as long as the situation allows and the atmosphere is appropriate. When someone is certain that you’re interested, it’s easier for them to respond in kind.

In the book Close Relationships, Dr. Pamela Regan, a professor of psychology at California State University, suggests there are three main types of social touch. The first is “friendly,” which is like a light shoulder push, shoulder tap, or handshake—not ideal for flirting, but good for testing the waters. The third type, “nuclear,” is the super obvious types of romantic touch, like a soft face touch or brushing someone’s hair out of their face, and is far too abrupt and forward for flirting. “Plausible deniability,” the second type of touch, is right in the middle and it’s where you want to be. It involves gentle and informal touching around the shoulder or waist, and the almost-always effective touch on the forearm. One study, published in Social Influence, found that a light touch on the forearm increased the chance participants would give out their phone number or go on a date. Just be sure the atmosphere is right when you try it, or you might make them feel uncomfortable.

Use Playful Teasing to Your Advantage

People want what they can’t have, and a little playful teasing shows that you’re interested, but also draws people in. Nerdlove recommends a simple technique called “pushing and pulling,” where, like a kitten with a string, you dangle a compliment within reach, then pull it back. Here are some of Nerdlove’s examples:

“You’re the coolest person I’ve met… at this bar, anyway.” “Holy crap, you really are such a nerd, it’s adorable!” “It’s a shame you seem like a nice person, you’re giving me the most inappropriate ideas.” “You’re awesome, I never meet people like you; get away from me, I just can’t talk to you.” “We’re never going to get along, we’re too similar.”

The key here is to absolutely avoid negging or backhanded compliments, like “you’ve got a great smile, even with those teeth.” Keep it playful, friendly, and make it abundantly clear that you’re teasing. Do it with a big smile, have fun (and be self-deprecating when it’s right) and while you’re at it, use your teasing as an opportunity to do some flirty touching.

Nerdlove says good flirting is about riffing and playing off what one another says. Don’t force a change in the conversation, and keep things light. Also keep in mind that some people don’t like teasing or witty banter, so be ready to switch gears. If you say something unfunny or upsetting, apologize and change the topic. Don’t make it about you, and don’t shift the blame on them, like “I’m sorry you were offended.” Acknowledge that you messed up and move on to a happier subject. When in doubt, Nerdlove suggests you just be a great listener. It gives people a chance to open up about themselves, and gives you a chance to relax.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-be-a-go…

Read Signals and Take a Hint

How to Flirt With Finesse

Things won’t always go your way when you flirt, so it’s important to know when to throw in the towel. Nerdlove suggests it all comes down to watching the other person’s body language and listening to how they respond. If you see these signals, dial it back:

  • They’re being polite, but unresponsive.
  • Their smiles are quick smirks that don’t look authentic.
  • They give short, uncomfortable laughs.
  • They’re not volleying back jokes or questions.

Nobody likes an overbearing flirt; It’s pushy, awkward, and super skeezy. Also, people talk. You never know when one bad social interaction will make things worse for you in the long run. If you swing and miss, shake it off, save face, and give it a shot another day.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-read-bo…

Illustrations by Angelica Alzona.

Learn to Spot a Liar With These Verbal Signs

At times, lies seem so harmless, but they can stress us out, and even cost us money. On a more subtle level, it changes our pattern of speech, and since most of us aren’t as good at lying as we think, if you know what to look for you can probably catch a lie in the act.

The explanation for why we lie is pretty straightforward: we want to connect ourselves to who we think we should be, rather than just being the person we are, this TED-Ed video explains.

http://lifehacker.com/5968613/what-l…

Stories based on lies, or “imagined experiences”, are different from real experiences because we have to put a bit of thought into it. As such, we’ll change the way we speak without even knowing it. Specifically, there are four notable indicators:

  1. Minimal self-references: Liars often use the third-person to distance themselves from the deceptive statements.
  2. Negative language: Liars tend to be more negative because on a subconscious level, they feel guilty about lying.
  3. Simple explanations: Liars typically recount stories or events in simple terms because it’s hard for the brain to come up with a complex lie (at least on the spot).
  4. Convoluted phrasing: Liars use longer, more convoluted sentences with irrelevant details when they could be more straight to the point.

The rest of the video spends time applying these key points to examples in our culture, examining how certain public figures change their way of speaking from one interview (presumably where they lie) to another (where they tell the truth). As we’ve written in other articles, looking for nonverbal cues is also important.

http://lifehacker.com/5959952/how-to…

The Language of Lying | TED-Ed

If You Want to Make Witty Comebacks, Be a Better Listener

If You Want to Make Witty Comebacks, Be a Better Listener

The best witty comebacks use someone’s words against them, but you can’t do that if you don’t hear what they’re saying. When it comes to conversation, having a sharp wit means being a great listener.

Abigail Paul, the artistic director at the Theatre Language Studio (TLS), says most of us don’t listen to the whole message when someone else speaks. We’re too busy thinking about our own points and planning what we want to say. But to make a witty comeback, Paul says you have to quickly react to what’s already been said. Timing is everything, and you can only fire back fast enough if you’re paying close attention to each word. Otherwise your brain has to shift gears from planning your next point to making an actual retort, and by then it’s too late—all that comes out is “uh, well, so…” And if you know someone that regularly makes snide remarks, it’s extra important to listen carefully and turn their words back on them.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-develop…

The Secret to Quick-Witted Comeback | BBC via Science of Us

Photo by Lan Bui.

Four Ways to Cut Down on Endless Back-and-Forth Emails

Four Ways to Cut Down on Endless Back-and-Forth Emails

Email. Can’t live with it. Can’t get your job done without it. Am I right? Last year we sent over 2.5 billion emails. And here’s the bad news. In spite of a good amount of loathing, that number is only expected to grow. The volume is an issue, as is the time you spend on it. In fact, reports say you check it about 36 times per hour. 36 times. In a single hour.

Once you begin dabbling with what’s in your inbox, it takes about 16 minutes to refocus your attention on your other work. Oh, and if you need a doc that’s buried in your email somewhere, it takes you about two minutes to find it. Do the math: This quickly adds up to a plague on your productivity.

You need it to do your job. You can’t just ditch it like a bad habit. In fact, it’s no doubt something you rely on heavily to get information, approval, or answers from colleagues so that you can get work accomplished.

But if you aren’t clear about what you want from others when you’re sending email, or if you don’t ask good questions, remember that 36 times per hour? Yeah well, watch that estimate increase substantially. I doubt that sounds appealing. Here are four tips you can use to minimize and speed up your exchanges and communicate better than ever.

1. Clarify Your Question

Have you ever tossed an idea out to a colleague and ended with, “Thoughts?” If your goal is to get input from someone on a pressing deadline, project direction, or a recommendation on options, you’ve got to give him something more specific to work with. After all, he doesn’t want to spend any more time trying to decode your message than you want to spend reading his response.

If you’ve just sent a plan that needs action, for example, instead of ending with the open-ended and vague, “Thoughts?” ask a specific question, like, “What will it take to realistically implement this plan by next week? Let me know if there’s anything I can do to get it going ASAP.” Your colleague’ll be able to respond quickly and directly, and you’ll get a much higher quality response.

2. Cut to the Chase

Sarah, the Type A project member you work with frequently, wants everything weeks ahead of time. She’s at it again. You get an email for a deliverable with a ridiculously short deadline. You’re frustrated and tempted to respond with, “Can you give me more time on that project?” with the hope of renegotiating the deadline. If you do, it’s going to take half a dozen more responses to resolve the timeline alone.

Instead, tell your colleague what you have the capacity to do, and leave it at that. “Hey Sarah, I’ve got three other prioritized projects in my queue now. I will get this done by end of day next Thursday. If I’m able to get it done sooner, I’ll let you know. Thanks for your patience.” Boom. Done.

3. Stop Soliciting Questions

Some messages generate unnecessary mail because you unwittingly invite responses. To avoid that, stop closing with, “Does this make sense to you?” Rather, say “Let me know if you have questions.” If the receiver has a query, he’ll let you know; otherwise, he’ll know that no response is necessary.

You could also close with something like,“Let me know if we are not aligned on this,” or “Let me know if you want to talk about this further.” This concise language makes it clear that the conversation is closed unless there’s an issue on the receiver’s end.

4. Don’t Neglect the Title

The subject line of your message is efficiency gold. Use that real estate to give your reader a heads up about how much attention they need to spend and when. Head those excess emails at the pass.

Use your title to indicate urgency, the deliverable, and the timeline. For example, a title could read something like, “Action needed by noon Friday | Acme project due next week.”

Now your reader knows that this is going to require some attention. She’s aware that there’s a deadline for responding and work that she needs to be focusing on for completion next week. That single, concrete statement prevents a ton of back and forth.

Given how much time and attention email requires, both as a sender and a receiver, you can see how a few simple techniques will help you send messages that generate fewer responses in return and improve the overall communication between you and your co-workers or clients. Wouldn’t that be cool? When you make your communication super efficient, you’ll not only feel more in control of your inbox, your colleagues will appreciate how efficient you’re helping them be as well.

But, keep in mind that sometimes your best bet is simply to take the conversation offline. As a rule of thumb, if you can’t resolve the issue in three email exchanges, or miscommunication is occurring because of a crazy-long thread, propose a live conversation so you can resolve the matter quickly.

4 Ways to Cut Down on the Back-and-Forth Emails in Your Inbox | The Muse


Lea McLeod coaches people in their jobs when the going gets tough. Bad bosses. Challenging co-workers. Self-sabotage that keeps you working too long. She’s the founder of the Job Success Lab and author of the The Resume Coloring Book. Get started with her free 21 Days to Peace at Work e-series. Book one-on-one coaching sessions with Lea on The Muse’s Coach Connect. Top image by onivelsper (Shutterstock).

Focus On the Quality of Your Relationships While Networking, Not Quantity

Focus On the Quality of Your Relationships While Networking, Not Quantity

To some, “networking” means handing out as many business cards as possible. That can come off pretty sleazy and miss the point. Instead, focus on building quality relationships to grow your career.

As networking expert and author Derek Coburn explains, choosing who to network with and how to spend your time is key. Being willing to support others in tangible ways—as opposed to waiting for them to help you—is an investment that can come back to help you later on. It’s also important to focus your efforts on the people that are mutually beneficial, instead of someone who’s just going to suck you dry:

Your level of success when it comes to networking and relationship-building will be directly tied to your ability to interact with others who have a similar approach. You can show up genuinely looking to contribute, but it will be a waste of time if you are engaging with those who are only focused on themselves.

In this way, networking is a lot like building your regular personal relationships. Fancy that. The quality of your relationships will be determined by which people you choose to focus on and how much effort you put into them. Ideally, as time passes, you’ll build a professional network of real friends who look out for and support each other, not just a rolodex of people who trade favors.

The Most Important Rule of Networking No One Talks About | Inc.

Photo by Fruitnet.com.

Instead of Saying “Yes,” Say “Yes If…” to Avoid Overcommitting

Instead of Saying "Yes," Say "Yes If..." to Avoid Overcommitting

When it’s so hard to say no, it’s so easy to overcommit. Get around this issue by responding with a “Yes…if…” to requests for your time and energy that don’t have the highest value for you.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-deal-wh…

The Strategy+Business blog recommends saying “yes” to the demands or requests that you are most skilled at meeting and that have the greatest value to your company. For everything else, add that “if” and find other ways to meet those requests without over-burdening you:

This discerning approach forces you to address your capacity problem head-on. It may mean delegating some tasks to others, negotiating a reduction in your specific contribution, or just saying no while making the business case for why your contributions will have a greater impact elsewhere. A secondary benefit of questioning the value and ownership of a task is that you confirm whether it needs to be done in the first place, and you challenge the assumption that it should be done the way it is being done.

So, for example, “yes, I can do that project—if the deadline can be moved two weeks back” or “yes, I can get you that TPS report if someone else can do the other TPS report on my plate.” You don’t have to say “no,” and you also protect yourself from taking on more than you can handle.

“Yes” vs. “Yes, If…”: Using Your Distinctive Contribution to Manage Priorities | Strategy+Business

Photo by PinkMoose.

The ICONSPEAK T-Shirt Is the Perfect Apparel for Any World Traveler

The ICONSPEAK T-Shirt Is the Perfect Apparel for Any World Traveler

There are a lot of tools out there for breaking down language barriers, but there’s nothing quite as simple as pointing at a picture. The ICONSPEAK t-shirt will let you communicate what you need no matter where you are.

The t-shirt has 40 symbols that clearly reference the essentials required by any traveler. There are icons for drinking water, housing, transportation, food, bathrooms, and even repairs. If you’re on a multi-country trek and end up somewhere you don’t know the language, you can just find someone and point to what you need on your shirt. You can also point to combinations of icons if you need something more complicated like car repair, or a place that serves both food and alcohol. It’s a clever solution to a common problem for any worldly adventurer. You can grab an ICONSPEAK t-shirt in most sizes for $33 from their web site below.

http://lifehacker.com/three-simple-i…

ICONSPEAK T-Shirt | ICONSPEAK Store via Buzzfeed

Teach Your Kids to Stop Interrupting You with This Technique

Kids are impatient little buggers who don’t realize they’re being rude when they interrupt you when you’re having a conversation. Here’s an easy technique that will teach children a better way to get your attention.

Mom coach Kirsten explains the four steps in the video above.

  1. Teach your child to place his or her hand on you when they want to speak to you while you’re talking to someone else.
  2. Put your hand on top of theirs to acknowledge they want your attention.
  3. Politely excuse yourself from the conversation.
  4. Thank your kid for waiting and give him or her your full attention.

You might need to practice this a few times to establish it as a new good habit, but if you’re tired of always saying “wait a minute” or “I’m talking over here,” it’s definitely worth a try.

Teaching Your Child to Stop Interrupting: M #1 | YouTube via Kids Safety Network

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace

It’s easy to forget manners when you’re all alone. From showing up late to meetings and forgetting simple things like “please” and “thank you,” otherwise polite and well-behaved humans can come off as complete jerks in the absence of face-to-face contact. Isolation is the culprit, but you don’t have to fall prey.

As we’ve said before: “Being physically removed from your coworkers can make communicating that much stranger.” To be honest, “stranger” is probably too polite a word. After all, you don’t have to be in marketing or managing brand-level social media to make a career-crashing mistake.

http://lifehacker.com/the-remote-wor…

Since 2005, remote working as grown by 103% in the US alone. But the digital workplace is still a fairly new environment. Figuring out the rules, not to mention reminding yourself to follow them, can be tricky. Here are 10 professional rules for the digital workplace everyone should remember. Keep in mind though, the point of this list is to apply it to yourself. Nobody likes an etiquette cop, online or off.

Be on Time

Early is on time, and on time is late. That truism has guided professional etiquette for centuries, and online, punctuality is still the golden rule.

Sadly, digital meetings come with their own unique set of time-delay challenges. Firing up your device, opening the right program, making sure your mic and camera are working, closing background bandwidth hogs, bringing up your agenda along any other relevant material, they can all take you by surprise if you’re not prepared.

In addition to preparing, one more tip stands out: “kill notifications.” Never underestimate how much a deceptive time-suck simply checking your email, texts, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be in the moments leading up to something that actually matters.

http://lifehacker.com/5986518/the-si…

Even in the absence of notifications, it’s misleading to think you can log in and get things running one minute before a call starts. Instead, being “on time” means setting up at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of every meeting. Creating that buffer will ensure you don’t violate anyone else’s timeline with your own “technical difficulties.”

Get Personal

Memos and company-wide emails suck. With our already cluttered desks and inboxes, there’s no quicker way to get something dismissed as “not for me” than sending a lengthy document addressed to every single employee in the company or even every individual in your team.

While being direct, clear, and short in your emails is a great starting point, truly getting personal means minimizing text as much as possible. Instead, opt for visual and interactive content like pre-recorded video introductions whenever someone new joins a team, or has to use a new system.

Getting personal is especially crucial when it comes to emotionally charged conversations and giving negative feedback. Black-and-white mediums like email and chat apps are notorious for miscommunication and misunderstanding. Whenever you have to address touchy issues, select communication channels that get you as close to real life as possible.

Follow Through

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re not face-to-face with the powers that be, you can shirk your commitments. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’ll do it. As Robert Collier put it, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

Follow through isn’t the sexiest trait in business, but it’s essential, and not just as a nonnegotiable ingredient of etiquette. Consistency, as Eric Holtzclaw explains in this article at Inc, allows for measurement, creates accountability, establishes your reputation, and makes you relevant to others.

If for some reason you’re unable to complete your promised tasks on time, a quick email or (even better) a call to say there will be a delay is far better than forcing your colleagues to wait indefinitely while you’re MIA. Being someone your team can count on is invaluable, especially in remote working situations.

Establish Clear Expectations

Alongside plain old laziness, one of the main reasons follow-through is a problem with remote, digital workers is because people are often vague with their commitments or requests in the first place. Do not be the person who says, “Let’s look into that,” in an email thread or chat with five other colleagues.

This is where the Bystander Effect comes into play. When no one is singled out, no one takes responsibility. Whenever you’re in this position, keep these two truths at the front of your mind:

Everyone’s job is nobody’s job.
No due date means never due.

Just how important are clear expectations for healthy relationships? Interpersonally, the key to intimate, long-distance relationships lies in managing expectations. Happiness is “not necessarily [about] how far apart you are or how little you see your partners. It’s more about the discrepancy between your expectations for relationships and the reality of the current situation.”

http://lifehacker.com/the-secret-to-…

Clear expectations mean assign tasks individually, settle on deliverables in writing, and agree on deadlines from the outset.

Respond Regularly

The total number of global emails is currently 205.6 billion per day. Business emails account for 112.5 billion. At work alone, that translates into roughly 122 emails you have to deal with on a daily basis. While “Inbox Zero” may be out of reach for you, overload is no excuse to ignore the messages you get from your colleagues, especially when you’re a remote or digital worker.

http://lifehacker.com/182318/empty-y…

For help, John Rampton’s blog suggests making folders or labels and parking email requests there until you are able to respond. That’s a lot like the old “trusted trio” method of inbox organization. It’s especially helpful for email requests you know you’re going to say “No” to. Jeff Weiner outlines seven ways to manage email so it doesn’t manage you; chief among them the no-nonsense hack, “If you want to receive less email, send less email.”

http://lifehacker.com/seven-ways-to-…

The key, however, to responding regularly is simply communicating your overload. There’s a huge difference between saying nothing, saying, “I’ll get to this later,” and saying, “I can’t get to this now, because … but, I’ll get back to you [specific day].”

If you can’t handle a request immediately, take a few seconds to reply and let your colleagues know.

Keep Everything in One Place

If you’ve ever had to search through a colleague’s physical files while they’re away, or worse, after they’ve resigned, you know it’s a pain. Digitally, the experience is just as excruciating.

This isn’t just about etiquette, it’s also about productivity, and it’s important you—and your team—use similar tools. Dropbox is fan favorite for storage, Slack is hands down my go-to communication app, and Memit is a new web clipper that integrates directly with cloud storage so you can stick to the “one place” rule without losing the look and feel of tools like Evernote.

For simple online workflow management check outTrello and for more complex jobs, Asana. Even better, dig into The Sticker Mule Guide to Asana to find out exactly how to make that platform work for your remote team’s needs. Whatever tools you end up selecting, remember: less is more.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-tre…

Explain Why, or Why Not

Digital or in person, never underestimate the power of “because.”

A classic study conducted by a Harvard psychology professor revealed that people were 33% more likely to oblige to someone using a copier before them when they gave a reason for the request. Shockingly, the power of because held strong even when the reason was redundant: “May I use the Xerox because I have to make copies?”

The takeaway is obvious: people are far more likely to understand, empathize, and agree with you when you explain the reasons behind your actions.

In fact, next to “you” and addressing the question, “What’s in it for me?” “because” is the second most persuasive word in the English language.

If you’re a subordinate, explaining why is the most respectful way to decline a request or offer an alternative course of action. If you’re a leader, explaining why reveals you’re not just an online dictator, issuing commands and saying “No” arbitrarily.

Use Emoji Wisely ;-)

Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the year for 2015, wasn’t a word at all. It was this:

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace

Officially named the “Face with Tears of Joy,” Oxford selected it because it was the most frequently used emoji of 2015. And that’s saying something, given that the global use of emoji’s has tripled between 2014 and 2015 alone.

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace

But are emoji a violation of professional, business etiquette? Yes and no. Daniel Tay summarized the positive side of professional emoji perfectly here:

As it turns out, emojis are serious business in the visual communication world. They are capable of relaying emotions in a straightforward and realistic manner when we are unable to do so face-to-face. As childish as emojis may seem, it’s high time to get on board with the program.

However, emoji require wisdom. The Atlantic lays down this rule: “Don’t use them with a superior or a client unless they use it first and establish it as an accepted norm.”

In other words, the safest way to go is to stick to the basics. Avoid the wink face, which might be perceived as flirty, and only use others when there is clear context and the meaning won’t be skewed. When it doubt, leave it out.

Be Specific

While we’ve touched on this point, it’s worth being specific about being specific. When it comes to digital communication, never leave anything up to chance or personal interpretation. Keep everything simple and to the point. More words mean more confusion.

Here’s a great example of a terrible but incredibly common business email from Henneke Duistermaat’s guide to writing persuasive email:

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace

In email, force yourself to state your request and urgent details clearly in the first paragraph. When someone glances at an email, especially on the go, they’re usually just reading the first couple sentences and skimming through the rest.

Also, use the VNO formula: Verb + Noun + Object. For example, don’t bury your request four paragraphs in and use phrases like:

  • “Please let me know …”
  • “I would love to connect you with …”
  • “I can be reached at …”

Instead, be polite and just spit it out: “Please reply to this email and I’ll set up a quick demo at a time most convenient for you.”

For colleagues, do the same. Instead of, “Can you call Tom?” be specific: “Please call Tom by EOD tomorrow to confirm the wireframes will be ready by the 21st.”

Lastly, specificity equals singularity. As I pointed out over on Fast Company: “ensure that your message makes one request—and one request alone.”

Say “Please” and “Thank You”

Finally, if you think “Please” and “Thank You” is a pointless addition to this list, you’d be surprised to know how easy it is to forget these little phrases when you’re communicating virtually. When you type from a mobile device or send a quick email on-the-go, you’re so busy saving words that you might think these are not as important as in a real-life conversation, but they are.

With verbal communication, you can frame your speech with tone. Unfortunately, tone is much harder to communicate in writing, so please and thank you go a long way.

What’s more, make your thank yous timely, personal and specific. As Jacquelyn Smith explains at Business Insider, “You should send thank-you notes within 24 hours, and you should send separate notes to everyone you want to thank.”

In the end, digital etiquette doesn’t have to be confusing and it doesn’t have to kill your personality or eliminate having fun. It is, however, even more important for people who work online all the time, or work remotely and far from their colleagues to master.

10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital Workplace
Created by Piktochart. Design your own infographics, posters, and presentations here.

Learn How to Identify Any Language at a Glance With This Handy Guide

Learn How to Identify Any Language at a Glance With This Handy Guide

Smartphones, search engines, and translators can break language barriers easy enough, but what if you wanted to know how to do things yourself? This guide will show you all the tips and tricks you need to identify almost any language in a matter of seconds.

The guide, from linguist James Harbeck, shows you how to identify almost any written language by looking for special characters, common spellings, and accents. You’ll learn that out of French, Spanish, and Italian, Spanish is the only language that uses the “ñ” character and Italian has the common words of è (is) and e (and). You’ll also learn that the characters “Ô and “ã” are a dead giveaway for Portuguese, especially if the language resembles Spanish. And a simple way to tell Japanese apart from Chinese is to look at the shape of the characters (Chinese characters are never round), and check for the frequent use of the character “の,” which doesn’t exist in Chinese. You can find more language identification tricks in the complete guide at the link below.

http://lifehacker.com/top-10-tips-an…

How to Identify Any Language at a Glance | The Week

Photo by laogooli.