Over the course of the year, we, the analysts at Basex, hear from knowledge workers in the trenches about what works – and what doesn’t work – when collaborating with others.
Based on our observations, we prepared – as a template – these New Year’s Resolutions with the hope that they will contribute to improved knowledge sharing and collaboration in 2007.
Without further ado, here they are:
1.) I will not e-mail someone and then two seconds later follow up with an IM or phone call.
2.) I will refrain from combining multiple themes and requests in one single e-mail.
3.) I will make sure that the subject of my e-mail clearly reflects both the topic and urgency of the missive.
4.) I will read my own e-mails before sending them to make sure they are comprehensible to others.
5.) I will thoroughly read e-mail from others before replying.
6.) I will not overburden colleagues with unnecessary e-mail.
7.) I will reply judiciously, avoiding one word responses such as “Thanks” or “Great!”
8.) I will be more conscious of the fact that “Reply to All” sometimes really does go to all.
INSTANT MESSAGING AND PRESENCE AWARENESS
9.) I will not make excessive use of the ENTER key when IMing someone (knowing that an audible alert is triggered with each ENTER keypress). For a multi-line message I’ll use SHFT-ENTER for line feeds within the text.
10.) I will not get impatient when there’s no response within 200 milliseconds of my IMing someone.
11) I will not assume that the recipient of an IM is nailed to his chair in front of his computer and that awaiting my communications is his only purpose in life.
12.) I will keep my presence awareness state up-to-date and visible to others so they know whether I’m busy or away.
ALL FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
13.) I will recognize that the intended recipient of my communications is not a mind reader and supply details in my messages accordingly.
14.) I will come to the realization that I’m not Captain Piccard and that the enterprise is not the Starship Enterprise. “Computer make it so” doesn’t yet work in this day and age.
15.) I will learn to use the tools I have before lusting after newer shinier ones.
16.) I will recognize that typed words can be misleading in terms of both tone and intent.
17.) I will do whatever I can do facilitate the transfer and sharing of knowledge.
18.) I will stop this list at number 18 so it remains manageable and readable.
Happy New Year and Prosit Neujahr from everyone at Basex.
Jonathan B. Spira is CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.