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This is why leaders should never text the word ‘hi’

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19.09.2021

If my manager ever texts me “hi,” “hello,” or “hey,” without any further context, I will assume that I’m fired. It’s the only logical conclusion. The same goes for “are you around?”, “let me know when you get in,” and “can we talk?”

I would have no idea how to respond to these messages. I know this because I ran an advanced computer simulation of this exact scenario, using an AI replica of my consciousness (a Black Mirror Slackbot, basically).

You might think I’m paranoid, and you’re not wrong. But there’s more to this than my personal hangups: I know people in multiple industries who have gotten messages like this and assumed the worst.

Managers, consider this a PSA. Don’t text your report “hey” and then wait for them to respond. Get to the point, or we’re going to assume the point is very very bad.

Let’s talk more about why.

What do you say after you pick up the phone? Most people say “hello,” and there’s a reason for that: phone companies taught people to say it in the 1800s.

When you call someone on the phone, it’s not clear when the other person is there—unless they say something first. The English word “hello” was invented for this reason. The word caught........

© Fast Company


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