First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!
A couple of weeks ago I called on my readers to submit their tech etiquette questions, and I’ve posted my responses below! Remember, my new book, Executive Image Power, is coming out in June and has a whole chapter devoted to improving your image via email, texting and instant messaging!
Now, on to your questions…
Q: My boss expects me to be reachable 24/7 now that I have an iPhone. How can I set boundaries so I can have a life?
A: You need to find diplomatic ways to set your boundaries. You need to be polite and speak from the heart. Be firm and don’t waffle. You need to set limits. You may want to compromise and tell your boss you will accept his or her calls after hours until 6pm during the week or on Saturday mornings between 10 and noon. If he or she calls outside of those boundaries, do not pick up the phone. Use that caller ID!
Your boss may be able to work 24/7 but not a lot of people can and it’s not good for anyone. We all have families to take care of and friends with whom we want to spend time, and we all need our down time to be more productive when we are working.
Saying “no” does not undermine your authority or competence. On the contrary, your credibility is enhanced when you are honest with people.
Q: I was taking a client to lunch when my cell phone rang. It was my office, but I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to take a call. What should I have done?
A: First of all, when entertaining a client or anyone else, your phone should be on “vibrate” or silent. Be mindful of the person with whom you are dining—the key is to always make him/her feel that he/she is the most important person at that time. The only exception to this rule is if you are expecting a very important call, such as your mother having surgery. Let your client know ahead of time. When the call comes through, excuse yourself, leave the table, and take the call elsewhere. Keep the call short. When you come back to the table, apologize again and thank your client for understanding.
Q: When is it okay to text my boss?
A: Before texting, ask your boss if it’s OK with him or her. Whatever his response is, respect it. Also, do not discuss anything over text that would take more than one sentence or maybe a few words. Overall, I do not encourage texting your boss as it’s too familiar and shows lack of respect, but in some more casual workplaces, your boss may be fine with it.
PS. Feel free to comment below or email me with any tech etiquette questions of your own!