Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Winner of the I Can Relate Article Contest - Blackberry Interpretation by Dave Segrove

I ran a contest in my weekly newsletter, "I Can Relate." The contest was to submit an original article that was relevant to the newsletter premise, which is improving business relationships. The winner of that contest was Dave Segrove, owner of JDE LTD. This blog entry is his article....enjoy!!!


An increasingly large number of my clients are getting Blackberrys (or is it Blackberries, mouses, mice, who knows) and other texting devices. After all, it's a tried-and-tested technology for those on the move. But speed and convenience seems to be leading to short replies that may be misinterpreted.

When your email is routed to your Blackberry and you want to reply, it's relatively straightforward: type and send. However, the nature of the devices tends to mean that quick, one-liners are the norm. I often get these in reply, with a message footer "Sent from my Blackberry". I know that a short and often abrupt-seeming reply is nothing more than that. Be careful, however, if you're replying to a client or someone who may be a little more sensitive.

Interpretation of email and text messages can be very mixed. I, for one, am guilty of misunderstanding a sentence or two as meaning something quite different than intended by the sender. The written messages don't reflect the tone of the sender, so it's prudent to take a moment and consider how the message may be interpreted.

Am I too concerned? Perhaps. But if someone sends you an email, for example "is this the best offer we can get" and you, caught up in a thousand other things, respond "yes" on your texting device, will your client think you're being a little abrupt...even rude because they're used to you explaining yourself in "regular" email or on the phone? Will they understand popular texting abbreviations like BRT, LMAO or CUL8R (I've seen this happen)?

As technology moves forward and communication gets quicker, it's easy to forget that what you meant to say and how it was perceived can be very easily blurred.

Don't text and drive!!

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