It never ceases to amaze me how rude some people can seem in various forms of communication. My mother taught me to smile when talking on the phone, that the act of smiling will come across in my voice, making me sound like the ray of sunshine I am. However...

It never ceases to amaze me how rude some people can seem in various forms of communication. My mother taught me to smile when talking on the phone, that the act of smiling will come across in my voice, making me sound like the ray of sunshine I am. However, nothing rains on my party more than a "debbie downer" on the phone. If I am supposed to be helping you, it would behoove you to be pleasant, thus making me want to help you even more - right? What is even more perplexing is how some people can sound like angels on the phone, and then you get an email from them that must have been sent from their evil twin locked in the basement. Your tone (in everything from emails, to personal conversations, to things you write on Twitter or Facebook) defines who you are, its a key ingredient to your personal brand. It will also determine how people react to you, want to continue being around you or working with you, how far they might go to extend a helping hand, you get the idea.

As communication methods keep moving towards shorter vehicles like texting, tweeting, etc - it is even more critical to find a spot to work in a smiley, or a thx, or a hi. If we don't make these efforts, we will end up sounding like a bunch of grunting cave people barking orders and URLs at one another. "Bring me report!" "Make text bigger!" "No blue. Red!" "Click here and fix!" Seriously - is this the way we want to all end up communicating with each other? Of course, there are times when a stern email makes sense, but if you need to be stern, it is probably for a good reason, and you should take the time to politely explain the problem or frustration. A little bit of time trying to communicate beyond a barking order or command will inevitably go further to achieving your goals.

So, I challenge you all to try to be a little bit nicer, more courteous, say "Thank you" or "You're welcome", and share a little niceness with your business acquaintances and colleagues. That extra effort of writing "Hi Tracey" at the beginning of your email goes a long way. Sure, we aren't getting married to each other, but we still have to spend time with each other, so we might as well try to make it a pleasant experience!

Share on Twitter or Facebook Published August 7th 2009