Don’t be the Google Hangouts Jerk: 10 DOs and DON’Ts for Hanging Out
If AOL Instant Messenger and Skype had a super baby times 10, it’d be Google Hangouts.
This new Google offering allows you to meet, share and/or connect using video, voice and text. Up to 10 people can participate in a single Hangout. It’s the perfect tool to keep in touch with families and friends, hold business meetings, and connect with strangers who share the same interests.
With so many elements going on in Google Hangouts, pay close attention to our do’s and don’ts so you’re not the person that everyone hates to hangout with.
DO respond to the Hangout e-mail invitation. Like an in-person meeting or party, your RSVP is a common courtesy to the host.
DO log in and join the session 10 minutes early. This is especially important if this is your first time participating in a Hangout. In that time, you can ensure your technology is working Tardiness and interruptions due to technical difficulties are frowned upon in the Hangout world.
DON’T hang out in a noisy, busy or crowded space. Find somewhere private during the session. Background noise will be a disruptive to the other participants. If you can hear or see it, everyone else can.
DO have an agenda if you’re hosting a business Hangout. There’s no need to send your grandma in Topeka a bulleted agenda but for business calls, an agenda keeps you on topic. Your participants will appreciate the structure.
DON’T be inappropriate. This goes for dress and behavior. Treat the session like a normal meeting. Please be fully clothed and act professionally.
DON’T talk over the speaker. You don’t want to come off as rude. One of the best features of Google Hangout is video of whoever is speaking dominates the screen. Like any conversation, remember to wait your turn.
DO engage and pay attention to what is being said. Your non-verbal cues speak volumes! We can also see if you’re glued to your phone or having lunch.
DO mute if absolutely necessary. Stuff happens. UPS may be at the door, or your neighbor may decided to mow his lawn. If you have to step away from your computer, or there’s surrounding circumstances beyond your control, mute your sound and/or stop your video feed.
DON’T record without permission. You should ask for the permission of all participants to record, even if you’re recording for future reference and not sharing. In some states and country, it’s illegal to record someone without permission. Don’t go to jail because you did a Hangout!
DO follow up. If you want to further connect with someone who participated in a Hangout with you, take five minutes to send them a personalized thank you. This is great when looking for prospective clients, mentors and collaborators.
Enjoy hanging out!