Your organization has made the decision to use Lync. With it, comes all these gizmos and gadgets that you did not have before. You are asking yourself, “Now that I have all these features available to me, how do I appropriately use them?”
Microsoft thought about the answer to that and has provided a few etiquette guidelines for you to follow. I’ve posted them below for your convenience and also included a few of my own. Take a look.
Instant Messaging Etiquette
- Before sending an IM, check the person’s presence status. This will help you decide if and when it’s appropriate to connect:
- Available: go ahead and initiate a conversation as you your contact is willing and available.
- Busy: refrain from sending a message unless it’s urgent.
- In a Call: your contact may be slow to respond or may not respond at all. This will vary by person and by the nature of the call.
- Do Not Disturb: messages cannot be sent and are blocked by the system.
- When initiating an IM, it’s a good practice to ask the other person if they have time to chat with you (i.e. “Got a moment to discuss the Contoso account?”). This isn’t always necessary with someone you know well, but use your judgment.
- Sometimes a person may or may not respond immediately. Avoid sending multiple messages and wait for a response to your initial IM unless it is urgent.
- If you receive a terse response (e.g., “in a meeting ‐ talk later”), don’t be offended. They’re just letting you know they’re unavailable at the time.
- Depending on your company’s policy IM conversations may be monitored or saved. Always consider the tone and content of your messages.
- If you’re in a meeting, call, or Web conference, turn off the sound on your IM to ensure you won’t be disturbing to others in the meeting. To turn off sound for incoming alerts, from the menu bar click Options > Alerts and then under Ringtones and Sounds, select Suspend Sounds when my status is Busy.
- Don’t invite someone to join a multiparty IM session in progress without first asking everyone in the session if it’s OK.
- Avoid having too many “goodbyes” as you and your colleague attempt to end the conversation.
- Ask before elevating an IM conversation to a call, video chat, or conference. They may only have time for a quick note and not for a full conversation.
- Exercise caution in using Lync to communicate confidential or sensitive matters.
Online Meeting Etiquette
There are two types of online meeting attendees – the participant and the presenter. Each role has their own etiquette guidelines that when followed, will aide in a smoother, more productive meeting.
Here are some tips and guidelines for attending an online meeting:
- Be respectful of your coworkers’ time. Log in to the meeting a few minutes early, and check your audio/video (A/V) setup to ensure that your devices are properly configured. Check your Audio Device settings to ensure that the audio device you are using is set as the microphone (this setting often defaults to your webcam microphone if one is plugged in).
- Use a wired network. Using a wireless network will impact your audio quality, and, if you are speaking, will degrade the meeting experience for all the participants.
- Mute your audio unless you are speaking. This will avoid introducing any unnecessary sounds and background noise.
- Find a quiet space. If possible, join the meeting from a place free of loud background noise, otherwise, each time you speak, the other participants will find it difficult to hear you.
If you’re conducting or presenting in an online meeting, use the following tips to make your meetings more effective:
- Make the most of your participants’ time. Upload documents, prepare programs, and organize presentation slides before the meeting starts.
- Encourage participation from remote participants. Often, those who are participating from outside the meeting room feel overlooked. As the presenter, it’s a good idea to pause from time to time and ask for questions or comments from remote participants.
- Use your mute capabilities. If a participant is creating a poor audio experience for everyone else, mute that person or ask him or her to rejoin the meeting using a recommended audio device or their telephone.
Shanelle’s Lync Etiquette Guidelines
With Lync’s many features, it may be quite confusing as to when to call a colleague or when to send an instant message. Below are a few guidelines to help you decide.
- Instant Messaging should be used to ask quick questions requiring short answers or to share quick bits of information.
- Instant Messaging can be used to quickly communicate with a group of people at one time.
- Instant Messages should be elevated to voice or video calls if the conversation is becoming deeper or more complex than intended.
- Ping, ping, ring – If you have emailed or IM’d your colleague twice on the same subject without success, it is time to call the person.
- Voice calls, either individual calls or conference calls, should be used to discuss sensitive matters, complex details, share a wealth of information, or make decisions.
- When engaging in screen sharing, unless necessary, only share the application that contains the information that needs to be discussed rather than your desktop.
- As participants are joining a conference call, allow them a few moments to adjust their audio device and unmute themselves if necessary.
- Lync gives you the ability to record your meetings which includes audio and video (including screen shares, web cams, etc.). I encourage you to take advantage of this feature, however, before record a meeting, always make sure to get the approval of all the participants. Then announce when the recording will begin.
You are now appropriately equipped to use your Lync communications platform. Share this information with your colleagues and friends to prepare them as well.
If your organization is not currently using Lync, contact us and we’ll provide you with more information and help get you started. You may reach us at 301-960-0480.