Be nice, be clear

When I read Josh Thompson’s recent post about Slack messages, it resonated with me a big deal. Basically, it described a thing that happens to me a lot. Slack is a great chat app, but it makes some people chat the same way we would do in real life. While chat can most definitely be asynchronous, some people’s use of the software forces you to be immediate and distract you from the your own needs and focus.

I see it a lot, with people who start a chat just by saying ‘Hi’, with no further context – requiring you to spend the time and effort in order to figure out somebody’s needs or questions. It gets worse when the same real-life conversational cues are placed in the way before their question.

Them (1pm): Hey

Me (1:05pm): Hey

Them (1:10pm): How are you? 🙂

Me (1:15pm). I’m fine thanks, how are you?

Them (1:20pm): I’m good thanks.

Me: …

Them (1:30pm): Can I ask you a question?

Me: …

I’m more than happy to be conversational when we’re catching up but it’s frustrating when all you’re really asking is a question you need to do you work. Josh makes this clear: write whole messages that explain what you need and when you need a response.

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