Basic Screen Sharing Etiquette Tips You Need to Know

Etiquette is crucial to any kind of human interpersonal interaction.

Seriously. Regardless of who you’re interacting with, regardless of who you’re communicating with, regardless of where they come from in the planet, etiquette is not optional. It’s absolutely necessary. It is mandatory because etiquette really boils down to communication efficiency.

If you don’t follow basic etiquette and, essentially, you are reinventing the rules of communication each and every time you talk to somebody, this can cause quite a bit of complications. It’s already confusing and oftentimes irritating if you’re dealing with people with no etiquette, okay? You already see them face to face. You’re already communicating on a direct level. It’s not like there’s a lot of guesswork involved. It’s not like there’s a tremendous amount of distance separating.

Can you imagine what would happen if you are talking to somebody who is on the other side of the planet and you do not agree on etiquette rules or the person is completely unaware of etiquette? What happens is that an exchange that would have normally taken 10 minutes can easily drag on because you keep repeating the same things, this person keeps making the same mistakes and everybody is on each other’s nerves and all sorts of problems break up. In other words, you’re creating more problems as you solve previous problems and it leads to a never-ending cycle of miscommunication, miscues, and all sorts of mistakes.

The best way to get around this, of course, is to just understand basic etiquette tips. Here are just some ground rules that most people from all over the world could agree on. It doesn’t really matter what their host culture is. It doesn’t really matter what their mother language is. It doesn’t really matter their level of communication proficiency may be. Pretty much everybody can agree on this.

First, do not talk over the person. If that person has the right to talk and it’s his or her turn, let that person talk. Take it all in, get a clear mental picture, and then ask questions after they have stopped talking.

Second, it’s always a good idea to ask the person to repeat certain things they said that are unclear to you. A lot of people hesitate to do this because hey, let’s face it, we don’t want to be embarrassed. We don’t want to sound dumb. We don’t want to sound ignorant. But if it comes down to looking dumb by asking a person to repeat himself over and over again and spending an extended amount of time on the VNC call and thereby incurring possibly hundreds of dollars and extra costs, the cheaper alternative is just to look down. The bottom line is you’re not going to look down always. After all, the only stupid question is the question that wasn’t asked. So, ask away.

Third, when somebody’s giving you instructions or if somebody is asking you a question, it’s always a good idea to paraphrase. When you paraphrase and you bounce it back to them, what you’re effectively saying is whether they understood you correctly. In other words, you’re asking them, “Did I get you correctly? Did I absorb the right pieces of information? Did I put things together with the same logic that you used when you are posing the question or making the statement?” This way, when you are looking at the same information, you are literally and figuratively on the same page. You’re both thinking about the same things while referencing the same visuals.

These tips go a long way in preventing problems before they arise and also maximizing communication efficiencies regardless of the particular qualities of the person you are communicating with on a remote basis using VNC.