Using Instant Messaging (IM) Effectively

Dos and Don'ts for Quick Communication

Using IM Effectively

Learn how to use IM productively.

© iStockphoto/ARTappler

Phil is in the middle of researching and writing a report that his boss needs by the end of the day, but he's missing a key piece of information.

He knows that his colleague, who works in another building, has the necessary information. However, he doesn't want to call her because he knows that she's busy working on her own reports today. And it could be a few hours before she checks her email. So, he sends her an instant message through his organization's IM software. Within a few minutes, she replies, and Phil adds the information to his report.

Although instant messaging (IM) was originally used as a way to stay in touch with family and friends, it's now proving its worth in the business world. Managers and staff rely on IM to ask questions, collaborate on projects, and monitor home-based or virtual teams.

In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of using IM at work. We'll also look at IM etiquette, and show you how to use it effectively and productively.

... for the complete article:

Mind Tools Club members, click here.

Join the Mind Tools Club to finish this article AND get 1,000 more resources

Join now for just $1, first month

"When I started using Mind Tools, I was not in a supervisory position. Now I am. Along with that came a 12% increase in salary." – Pat Degan, Houston, USA
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.


Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.


Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.