Phatic Communication

A wise entrepreneurship professor asked the class and I to write the phrase, “Everything you do makes a statement” on the very first page of our notebooks and on the very first day of the spring term. For the rest of the semester the phrase was brought up constantly and every day when we opened our notebook we saw it.

We’ve been taught since kindergarten how to say our please and thank you’s, how to treat others the way we would want to be treated, how to share, and so on. Yet as we grow older I think we forget that no matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re a making a statement that is a direct reflection of our personal brand. Everything we do makes a statement. I think that’s one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned that has helped develop me as a person and as a business professional.

My daddy is the best dad on the whole planet; I’m sure of it. He taught me what it means to work hard and the importance of character while encouraging me to be the best I can be every single day. Due to his efforts my brand was off to a good start from a young age when I didn’t even know I had one. However, after entering college as a business major I am even more aware of my actions; I do my best to make sure everything I do is an accurate representation of the person I am inside or outside of the workplace. That means keeping my social media clean, putting others before myself, proof reading every email multiple times before sending it, looking people in the eyes when they’re speaking, going to visit professors in their office hours often, staying true to my personality, and so on.

The readings for phatic communication we’re both insightful and hilarious.

The “Business and Basic Etiquette: How to Be Polite” video made me smile because the concepts are so ridiculously simple yet all the time I see people who are completely unaware that their behavior is being perceived as rude. I absolutely hate it when I’m talking to somebody and they’re on their phone, especially in a business setting. Due to this I am overly conscious to make sure my phone is not my priority when I’m having an in-person conversation with somebody. This video also reminded me of how funny the door holding situation at Miami is. I don’t know if our school is just extra classy or if all Universities are like this, but rarely will somebody not hold a door open for me just as I hold doors open for others. The reason I think this is funny is because I’ve been in situations multiple times where I’m still a good 10 to 15 feet away from the door when I notice the person ahead is going to wait there and hold it for me so I always speed up or jog a couple steps as to not delay their day. Anybody else? haha

Email etiquette was something that was drilled in by the entrepreneurship professor I mentioned earlier. My email policy includes responding in ideally 24 hours (if not, definitely in 48), always having my email signature present, reading the email over twice before sending it, keeping the content concise, remembering everything I’m saying is permanent and can be forwarded, and not entering in the recipients email address in until the end as to not accidentally send them a half completed email. I practice all of those concepts out of respect for the recipient and I think they are all important in the professional world. I can’t even comment on that sorority girl article because of how ridiculous that it is.

The standing in line videos are pretty funny but I think something really important was left out. I don’t think that people realize when they’re with friends or on the phone while standing in line that the other people around them can hear. No, you may never see those people again but somebody you know might be listening and even if there isn’t, you’re being judged by the people around you and their perceptions are a part of your brand. Therefore, rule of thumb: If you don’t have anything nice/appropriate to say, don’t say it.

The Wang, Tucker, and Rihll article is great. My favorite part is when the authors talk about the SCOT model and how it emphasizes that technology does not determine human action but rather human action shapes technology. It makes more sense when they introduce how the ‘shape’ of a technological artefact is the outcome of social processes. What I find interesting about the concept is that so many human interactions (not just actions) contribute to the creation of technology and technological content. Sometimes we get so used to how our world operates that we forget how processes work at the most simple level. Either way, I’d be interested in learning more about how human action can shape technology and the different ways that that can appear.

All the resources this week were great and I think it’s only appropriate that I end with, “Everything you do makes a statement!”


Assigned Readings:

The policy on Netiquette

“Business and Basic Etiquette: How to Be Polite”

“Email Etiquette”

“How to Stand in Line”

“Larry David on Waiting in Line”

“Lessons from a Soroity Girl E-mail Rant”

“Understanding Purpose”

This entry was published on June 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm and is filed under Untitled. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Phatic Communication

  1. I really like the “Everything you do makes a statement” quote. It is very true in the world of technology and business. I agree that some of the content was simple and maybe even common sense but people fail at it everyday. being polite is tough to do in business sometimes. If you look at the founder of facebook for example, he’s not a well liked guy. Many CEO’s are not polite because they did not get where they are by being polite. I do not agree with that but that’s how it is sometimes. It is crucial to maintain your image in the business world. The most recent example of this is Microsoft employees making rude comments during an E3 announcement this year. It had a huge impact on their image and they lost many users because of it. It always pays to be polite and professional.

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