Internet messaging, or IM as it is most commonly referred to nowadays, is one of the main reasons people go online. This live chat software enables you to ‘chat’ with your friends or people you meet online, regardless of wherever both of you maybe in the world. It is therefore a useful communication tool in the modern world such that people can keep in touch despite the geographical distance.
Sadly though, most people are unaware of the right ethical practices in chatting. Here is how you can avoid those unethical chatting practices and build a healthier communication pattern online.
Choosing Your IM Avatar
Avatar serves as the visual representation of yourself, such that the person you are chatting with online will have an idea of how you look like. For casual chatting, you can opt for funky and creative avatars. But if you are chatting in a business environment wherein other business associates or your superiors will be able to see your avatar, then you must opt for something more professional. This will earn you more respect from the person you are chatting with on the other end.
If possible, you can use a different instant messenger account for your friends or casual chatting. While another instant messenger account must be alloted specifically for business or professional purposes.
Figuring out how to start of an IM conversation with a client online is really challenging, especially when their status indicate they are busy online. If they don’t have your IM screen name yet, make sure to provide a brief but concise introduction about yourself. Always attach it with polite greetings. A good introductory line would be Hello there then insert your full name and other vital information next to it. Avoid opening up your message with Hi there!, unless if you are chatting with a long-time friend.
Willingness to Chat
Be sensitive. Personally, it can be irritating if you are busy doing something on your computer and an IM window pops up. Then, the person begins to send all these messages without even bothering to know whether you are busy or not. Moreover, there are even those who buzz their IM contacts in case of a late response. This could be an indicator of only two things: either the person is too busy or they are uninterested in chatting. Be polite in your approach such that the person will take the time to respond politely about whether or not they’d be willing to chat. But NEVER force them to chat with you unless they want to.
Choosing Topic of Discussion
When you are chatting for business matters, chatting is done with a definite purpose. And most business personnel are too busy for you to keep them waiting. Thus, you must have figured out already what to discuss prior to interrupting them to chat. When sending messages to the client or business associate on the other end, be brief and concise with your point. After all, the chat box only allows limited space and characters, so you have to maximize that.
More importantly, avoid sending chat messages in all UPPERCASE. This is considered rude in instant messaging ethical practices.
Ending A Conversation
Once you have finished chatting with either your friend or a business associate, do not just leave the conversation and assume that the chat is over. The other person might be awaiting for a response still, so you have to let them know if you want to already end the virtual conversation with them. If you are discussing something, politely ask them if they have any more clarifications or questions.
Then, explain to them properly why you have to leave and always leave a greeting.