Me, Myself & I

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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

Interested in intercultural communication and/or diversity management? In the mood for a Tandem-partner or looking for someone willing to learn Spanish with you? Desperately seeking an enthusiastic dance partner for salsa, bachata, swing or charleston?
Hoping to find a blogging buddy willing to inspire and motivate you?

Just drop me a line for a coffee. I am always thankful for the chance to get to know interesting and fascinating people like you.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

The rocket science of a good Skype conversation, or how not to forget the human being on the other side of the line...

To me, Skype is one of the best inventions ever.
It makes it possible to communicate with everyone provided with an Internet-connection almost everywhere in the world in a very convenient, easy and pleasant way. In real-time. At almost no cost. With a webcam, if needed or desired. Just awesome, right?

Yes. And yet, communication via Skype can also be a thorn in one's side.


Let's imagine a pretty mundane scenario: you are online, logged in on Skype, you are maybe working or reading an article or listening to a wonderful playlist or doing something else and at the same time you are chatting with someone, and then... 

The conversation slows down. The other person needs more and more time to get back to you, the answers become shorter and maybe sloppier and then... the person just stops to reply. At all. Let's say... for hours.
And suddenly the person goes offline without saying a word. 
Neither a "Have a nice day", nor a "I am leaving", or even a "Good night" or just "Bye" or whatever. Nothing. Nix. Rien. Nada. Nichts. Niente di niente.
How would you react?

[Historic Skype Purple image in rétro style...
Version 0.90, so loooong time ago!]

Please don't get me wrong, let's be clear about the matter.
Of course something can go wrong, of course the person can have some kind of problem or he/she can suddenly need to go away or to get focused on something/someone else.
Emergencies happen, as well. And  for sure each of us has a bad day, once in a while, right?
But what if this is the "normal" scenario? What if this happens on a regular basis, if not almost every time?

What if the other person does it without even noticing it?
Would you keep talking to the person, if you are free to decide for yourself about this matter? (while meaning that the person is not a colleague, or even worse your boss or your landlord or your teacher)

Maybe I am a little bit old fashioned, but I consider a Skype conversation being like an "in-person" conversation.
This means that, while talking on Skype, I will be nice and polite. I will pay attention to my language and above all to what the other person is saying/writing. I will say/write the name of the person properly.
I will inform the person if I am going to be away from keyboard from longer than 15 minutes and for sure I will say that I am leaving when I am going to leave.
At the end, I will thank my interlocutor for his/her time or saying that I enjoyed the conversation, if this is the case. I will appreciate the good tips I got or think about the suggestions induced by the conversation and will let the person know about this in a second time.


I don't consider it rocket science.
I consider it part of a respectful human interaction between people happy to talk each other and aware of the fact that someones time is a wonderful gift and that a good conversation is priceless. Something to be thankful for.

I like to treat people how I want to be treated on my part.
I like to make people feel good while talking to me.
I like to enjoy the time together and to make the best out of it, it doesn't matter if the conversation is about work or it is a private one.
It doesn't matter if it is in person, or via Skype or via another channel.

The secret of a respectful conversation? To me it is very easy.
While communicating, one should never forget that each time, for each conversation, there is another human being on the other side of the table or of the computer screen or of the phone or of the "Skype line". With needs, expectations and dreams. With feelings and fears.

What about you?
How strict are you about Skype netiquette?

Previous posts:
One of the biggest Skype mysteries ever
A-Z-Z-U-R-R-A... with two Z and two R, bitte!
Slices of farinata, flirting in another language and grammatical uncertainty, or being happy to living as an expat while missing 7 things about Italy

Tags: Skype, Skype conversation, Skype netiquette, Virtual communication

4 comments:

  1. No way to quit a conversation like this.. I don't use skype very often and, if I use it, it's just to have something like a real phone call.. I could get very bored after a 5 min silence (even if we're just chatting).. I think I'd ask:"are you still there?", and after another 5 minutes waiting, I'd quit and go cooking something.. no way, no way..
    I'm happy you're back with the blog, were missing you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The same here. I missed all of you.
    I am back to stay, with a new post every week.
    =)

    Yes, I agree with you.
    To me it is very frustrating having to wait sometimes FOR HOURS for a reply and then not being sure anyway to get a reply at all.
    It is not that difficult to write something like "afk" or "I will be back in twenty minutes" or the like...

    ReplyDelete
  3. By the way, I just read this sentence in a wonderful new post by Seth Godin: "The best way to change long-term behavior is with short-term feedback."

    I love this man.

    ReplyDelete