What the heck has happened to business manners? To being personally gracious? To saying thank you for your time. For meeting me. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for your LinkedIn connection request. I'm running late - just wanted to let you know....

What has happened is the pressure of time. Of too much to do. What a shame. What a shame.

If we had more manners and graciousness in our work lives, we would most probably reap more benefits - such as more customer referrals. More sales. Better annual reviews.

I use three technology shortcuts if you will, to help me to be more gracious. Instead of taking minutes to write an email or a SMS message, it takes seconds.


1) Saved email paragraphs to simply insert
In Outlook you have Quick Parts (in a new email, on the Insert Tab, Text Pane Group). In Gmail it's called Canned Responses. In Lotus - use stationery. These saved paragraphs preserve formatting, images, everything. Save your variations to 'lovely meeting you at (blank) for where and another (blank) for when. How about a LinedIn request?

I have a response saved oaring to help anytime as well as an invitation to join in my quick tip business newsletter lost.

Here is the 43 second video oh how to do a quick part.

2) Use your smartphone voice recognition
With voice recognition activated, you have can initiate (among other things) emails and SMS messages hands free.

• Siri in Apple (Settings > General > Siri). Then select the language you want - UK, Australian, American. Then double click home button.
• S Voice in Samsung (Apps> S Voice or double press the home key)
• Windows 7 (Press and hold Start button; tap help to see things you can say)

3) Phone Keyboard Shortcuts
Save a lovely meeting you, thank you for your time, I'm running a touch late as a shortcut on your phone. It's like an auto correction in email. You type something that is replaced with longer text. In example when I type TY in an email on my iPhone, the keyboard will ask if I want thank you for your time instead.

• IPhone - Settings > General > Shortcuts
• Samsung - First you have to install the Google Keyboard. You can't do it with the default Samsung keyboard. Once installed, > Settings>Language and Input > select the Google Keyboard as your default keyboard (note which one you're using - NZ, English etc as you must create the shortcut in the correct one). Select the Google keyboard icon > select personal dictionary under the text correction section. Select the dictionary you're using and create your shortcut using the plus sign. Whew! Got it?
• Windows - doesn't have it.

Please, we all would love your comments on ways you use voice activation or keyboard shortcuts. Please comment and share.