Seen on Saturday morning: February 16th

February 16, 2008 7:49:55 AM PST
SENIOR FRIENDLY TECH, OFFICE ETIQUETTE and MAKING BLACK HISTORY-----SENIOR FRIENDLY TECH-----

Helping your loved ones, as they get older - Joining us this morning with some senior- friendly gadgets is eldercare expert, Doctor Marion Somers, also known as "Doctor Marion."

QuietCare (www.quietcare.com) is an early detection and warning system that monitors seniors' movements with the use of wireless sensors and allows family caregivers to monitor/check on their loved one through the Internet from a distance.

Presto (www.presto.com) - HP Printing Mailbox with Presto Service is designed for people who do not use a computer or are not online and allows family and friends to send email and photos to the HP Printing Mailbox user.

Jitterbug cell phone (www.jitterbug.com) -- a simple cell phone with large buttons and on-screen text, and powerful speaker sounds that make calls easier for seniors.

Lifeline or MedicAlert bracelet - this can be purchased through the MedicAlert site - An ID bracelet and service that provides family notification when a person wanders or is lost

-----OFFICE ETIQUETTE-----

As technology changes, so do the rules of etiquette in the workplace. Joining us this morning with some tips is Anna Post, the Skype business etiquette consultant.

You may recognize her name--- she's the great great granddaughter of Emily Post.

In general, what are the most common etiquette mistakes people make in the workplace?
One of the biggest is talking too loudly on the phone, whether it's on the headset at your cubicle or on a conference call. Another is spending way too much time on personal e-mails or IMs. Think of writing personal e-mails or IMs the way you would a personal phone call at the office. One or two is probably OK, but twenty is not. The last one sounds so basic, but I hear about it all the time: say hi to people in the morning. I hear from a lot of people who are steamed when someone in their office can't take the time to say hello.

Considering the number of new technologies at the office, how have the etiquette rules changes over the last 5-10 years?
Lots! We all thought cell phones were a touchy subject until Blackberries came along. With each new technology, there comes a new code of behaviors. Most of them come down to staying aware-and considerate-of the people you are with, whether you know them or not. Technologies give us great tools to stay in touch and communicate with colleagues and clients, not to mention friends and family. But these are just tools-they can be used well, or used badly, and with each new one, we have to look at them and ask, am using this well? Am I making a good impression with the person at the other end? Am I bothering people around me? It's especially sensitive when you combine new technology with cramped quarters, such as a cube farm, subway car or the Starbucks line.

What are your etiquette tips for using basic technology at work, such as email and phone?
With phone calls, keep your voice down, and if it's a conference call, announce everyone who is listening in. With e-mail, be sure to use greetings and closings, at least on the first back and forth with someone. Never use all caps-that really is the same as yelling! If you're e-mailing about something confusing or contentious, read it out loud to yourself-is this what you meant to say? If you're unsure if the tone is clear, have a coworker read it to get another impression.

For either of these, think about how what you're saying or typing will sound to the person on the other end. Unlike an in-person meeting or Web conference, you don't have facial expressions to go on when judging how to perceive what someone is saying. Tone of voice and tone of writing become all-important-it's the only impression the other person will have of you.

What are your etiquette tips for using new technology at work, such as webcams?
Webcams, like the ones we use with Skype in my office, are terrific for building relationships with clients and coworkers at another site, but they can take a little getting used to. Be sure to show up for a Web conference just as you would for an in-person meeting-on time, ready to start and dressed presentably. If a participant isn't familiar with using webcam technology, like the free Internet communications program Skype, have a tip sheet ready to send to them, and offer to do a practice call with them to make them more comfortable.

How can managers ensure that everyone in the office is on the same page when it comes to etiquette?
They should do two things: first, hold a meeting with everyone they oversee to go over policies and expectations. I'm a big fan of everyone hearing the same thing, at the same time-it can clear up existing confusions, and it makes it a lot harder for someone to offer poor excuses if they aren't meeting expectations. Second, they should set the example with their own behavior, whether it's e-mail writing style, how they dress, or keeping to office hours.

What are your tips for recovering gracefully after an etiquette mishap at the office?
Apologize sincerely and offer a potential solution. This part is important to showing that you can be confident and take responsibility for your own behavior and not just leave it for a manager to clean up. Then move on-don't keep referring to your own mistake. And make sure you don't make that mistake again!

-----MAKING BLACK HISTORY-----

Celebrating Black History Month through the leaders of the past, present and the future - with us this morning to discuss those who have contributed in music, technology and politics is Tariq Muhammad, the director of blackvoices.com.

Music

Past: Berry Gordy

Founder of Motown records - the first black-owned record label to hit big in the mainstream

Present:

Russell Simmons:

  • Credited with virtually shaping the hip-hop industry
  • Has a heavy hand in music (Def Jam Records), film ('Krush Groove'), television ('Def Poetry Jam'), fashion (Phat Farm), finance (Rush Card), literature ('Do You!') and most recently political activism (Hip Hop Action Network).

    Prince:

  • Constantly pushes the envelop with his music
  • Made history by going against the record label system and winning his freedom from iron clad contracts he likened to slavery

    Future: Saul Williams

  • An acclaimed author, musician and poet first noticed for his politically charged prose
  • One of the first non-mainstream artists to offer his album free on the internet, bypassing record labels.

    Inventors

    Past: Philip Emeagwali

    Considered one of the fathers of the Internet; was one of the first to propose connecting a network of computers

    Present: Lonnie Johnson

  • Rocket scientist and nuclear engineer invented the Super Soaker water gun in '91
  • Has recently turned his sights to solar energy technology that would convert solar heat into power

    Politics

    Past: Colin Powell:

  • Four-star General fought in the Vietnam War and rose through the ranks to become National Security Advisor under President Ronald Reagan
  • Once courted as a presidential candidate, Powell was appointed Secretary of State

    Present: Barack Obama:

    The Junior U.S. Senator from Illinois is bringing serious hope to the chance of being this country's first African American President.

    Future:

    Adrian Fenty:

  • Youngest person to hold the office of Mayor in Washington, D.C.
  • As one of his first acts as Mayor he has gained control of the city's failing schools in order to improve them.

    Cory Booker:

    Making his top priority to recreate violence-ridden Newark to set a national standard for urban transformation

    For more information, www.blackvoices.com


  • Load Comments