Tuesday, December 8, 2015

That Smiley Will Not Make Them Lol: Dos and Don'ts of Texting your Boss

Today, we are virtually obsessed with our smart phones. In fact, a CNBC study showed that 93% of millennials found their smart phones more important than deodorant or brushing their teeth. 

Sometimes it just seems easier to text someone a sentence or two rather than call them. In a world where we're still attached to our phones in meetings and in class, we know the recipient is more likely to see our message before they will answer a call or listen to a voice mail. It's generally agreed that texting is even preferred. 

But then, there's our boss. Can we use short forms? Do I need to call them for that? How about smiley faces?

Keep these tips in mind when texting your boss:

1. Don't communicate important decisions or detailed information through text
Important decisions will require details and discussions not suited to texting. Schedule a meeting in person or over the phone and take notes.

2. Stray away from abbreviations 
You may use abbreviations such as, "LOL", "OMG", or even "WTF" with your friends, but keep it professional with your boss. I generally treat texts with my bosses to an email body template and tone.

3. Don't give bad news over text
Especially when things aren't going the right way, you should meet your boss in person or talk to them on the phone directly. You need to either a) gain advice from your boss or b) assure them that you are able to fix the situation. Give the right tone with your voice and body language rather than leaving it to interpretation through texting.

4. Don't depend solely on texting 
Keep a presence with your boss and colleagues. You don't want to be known as the mute in the office who no one ever sees or is constantly on their phone texting. Texting can be okay on occasion, but make sure especially your boss knows you're around and available if they need you.

5. Leave out the emojis and smiley faces
Emojis are adorable and can even help create tone- but with your friends and family. Your boss needs to see you as professional, capable and a mature adult. 

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