From the earlier times of Gossip around the Water Cooler to todays Digital Version of the Grapevine, we have become experts at putting our “Foot in the Mouth”. Where before the time of Computers you still had time for some minor damage control should you have unwittingly said the wrong thing to the wrong person, now you no longer have that Privilege? With a simple push of a button you can make or break your career in the cooperate World. Following are some common sense rules to keep in mind when using your Office IM’s. They are designed to help you avoid complications, assure that you will “climb the Ladder” of success in your Office and not take a plumed of those slippery steps.
It is advisable to pass that important assignment or job opening inside the Company along with speed and precise information. Make sure that every person entitled to the Information receives the important Memo in a timely Manner. Don’t add anything that would detract from the message to be passed along.
When receiving an IM with today’s newest tidbit on the Grapevine, don’t be a Gossip. Stop the rumor about your Co-workers private life or religious/sexual preferences, your opinion of the Bosses or any Co-workers “hot wife/husband, lover etc” in its tracks. Such verbalizations of thoughts is highly inappropriate for one and can get your slapped with a lawsuit faster then you can whistle Dixie if it falls in the wrong hands. You wouldn’t like someone else doing this to you. Do the right thing and hit delete without forwarding it to the next person.
Read and safe important IM’s carefully. If it has to do with the smooth running of the Office, a Policy that has been altered or a meeting which has been scheduled, always save your copy of the IM to a folder on your computer. You never know when such a Proof may be needed later, in case of convenient amnesia in the Executives.
Do not get involved in Office Politics! You don’t want to be labeled as unsociable or the “goodie two shoes” any more then the Office Gossip, but getting mixed up in Office Politics can leave you on the receiving end of some nasty back lashes. Therefore, how do you handle busybodies the can not mind their own business? By letting them know that you are too busy with work to listen. Sorry, you would love to chat, but your timetable is just cramped with work. Then shut down your IM.
Where slander and gossip is a downfall and show of bad character, the opposite is true when giving deserved praise for a Co-workers’ professional efforts; it allows others to see you as the Team Player you are. If you are giving your best on a daily basis, you have nothing to fear from somebody else doing well in your Company. It says loudly: “I can hold my own and I can appreciate another’s professional expertise.
Passing a nasty message along is wrong, but being the Originator is even worst. Never write anything slanderous or negative. Remember most of the time your Supervisors and Bosses can access your IM’s. If you are not willing to say it to the persons face, you have no business saying it at all! If you feel the need to address the problem with the offending person face to face, then you should do that behind closed doors, not in front of the rest of the Office Staff. The Rule applies: Never write anything you wouldn’t be willing to repeat in front of court or make a public spectacle out of yourself or others.
Work is not a place for social flirtation; pick ups, opinion pieces etc. IM’s needs to stay professional at all times! If you have an itch that should not be scratched at work, you can play outside of the office! You show your-self and your worth by the use of good judgment, manners and moral code. Yes, it is important to be noticed inside an office or cooperate setting, but you should enable your Supervisors and Bosses to notice you for your excellent production and outstanding professional conduct, not your “creative writing skills”. Those can be put to better use as a fictional Writer.