Pls come 2 mtg: Communication skills taking nose dive

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I have noticed a shift in common communication skills over the past few years in the workplace that I believe has been caused by texting, and it has quickly become a pet peeve of mine.

I work for a large insurance company on the East Coast. I have noticed that work-related emails are becoming less and less professional, to the point where some are so vague that I wonder whether the sender realizes how the end product looks to the receiver.

I need to point out that I am a 20-something woman, and I do my fair share of texting. However, when I receive an email from someone in a professional context, I expect to see more than “tks” or “u” or “mtg” in the body of the email.

When I see those abbreviated words, I give the emails less importance and am often insulted by them.

When did it become accepted practice to slip into what I consider a sloppy style of communication on the job? In my opinion, people are entitled to communicate in any way they please outside the workplace; however, slang-style writing is unacceptable in a professional setting.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest! — No Texting, Please

Dear No Texting: Though our society is as advanced as it has ever been, it often seems like a dark age for manners. Shine a light by your good example. The next time you get a lax email from a co-worker, respond extra professionally — with a formal salutation, a well-formed paragraph and a proper closing.

Often this is enough to shift the tone of the whole correspondence.

It seems that today a lot of people — too many — have trouble differentiating between what’s appropriate at home and what’s appropriate at work.

I, too, believe that in professional emails (or even text messages, if you find yourself texting a boss), it’s important to maintain a degree of formality.

No one ever lost a job for erring on the side of politeness.

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