We all know that Whatsapp, perhaps more than the other social media, is relatively anarchic in terms of organizing the communication, or more precisely the possibility of a truly structured one. Those who are active in only a few Whatsapp groups, with up to a few dozen members each, say, I think you noticed that, especially these days, it seems that you have no more time to read than messages sent on these groups, from morning to evening. From a point onwards, the situation becomes impossible to manage and you simply give up pursuing group communication, which can have negative, sometimes serious, effects, in case you lose for example information that may have been very important and urgency for you.
So that we can survive in this context of remote communication, if you have decided that a Whatsapp group is the right method and you have not resorted to more comprehensive software suites, such as Slack, Flock, Chanty, Missive or other communication platforms and team collaboration, I recommend you to start with some clear rules of use, and then try to follow them, ie establish a code of use, but also of the label, for WhatsApp. Here’s a possible decalogue for using whatsapp groups, certainly not an exhaustive one:
- Try to send the group only messages relevant to the whole group: social media is full of junk, memes and fake news anyway, and as your group has more important goals and the members of the group are people who have a busy work schedule, it is important not to spread yourself junk and fake news
- Send short and concise messages as much as possible; long messages show lack of consideration for the others, maybe dozens of colleagues in the group who are “forced” to read them
- Try to send only relevant messages for the whole group: social media is full of junk, memes and fake news anyway, and as your group has more important goals and the members of the group are people who have a busy work schedule, it is important not to spread junk and fake news yourself
- Never send links, videos or documents without making a minimal summary in an adjacent message stating briefly what you find interesting in those links or documents for your group; we all receive a lot of such messages with links, videos and documents, to open such a document only to see that it is irrelevant or that it is something you have received from another source, is a waste of time to all
- Avoid sending “fire with fire” messages, that is to say in 3-4 consecutive messages what you can communicate in one, the simple and valid rule for any messaging communication, except when in personal or sentimental communication, for a “dramatic” effect, we write short words or phrases in separate messages; however, this is totally counterproductive for group communication, because each separate message actually means a total of tens of messages, considering that they are sent to a possible large number of recipients: show them consideration and exempt them from such messages. fire with fire.
- The golden rule is to simply refrain from sending messages to the group or from replying to the group, if you feel that the messages or the response to the messages are not relevant to the group
- Avoid as many emoji responses as possible, each such “emoji reply” adds dozens of messages to those in the group; a “thumb up” can be encouraging from time to time for the group, if done discerningly, preferably by the group administrator and not by all members
- If there is a need for one2one discussions, they should be removed from the group and worn separately; also if you want to get more information or feedback before you launch an idea to the whole group, consult group members individually, on their WhatsApp accounts, not directly on the group; This way you can save hundreds or maybe even thousands of messages sent to the group, which means time wasted (or in any case consumed) by other colleagues; this one2one communication can be made simple, directly from the group menu, as with most messaging programs.
- If proposals are made by the group, they should usually be approved by the reverse vote, ie only those who oppose the proposal send a message, because if they say a few dozen people “yes” to a proposal with which the whole group is in principle anyway OK, that means tens of extra useless messages for each of the group members, meaning maybe thousands of messages altogether: for a group of 50 members, it might mean 2500 useless messages! If instead you go to the formula with messages only from those who do not agree, probably if some negative messages appear, it already becomes clear that there is no consensus and, taking into account that in such groups usually works the formula of approval by consensus or at least a large majority, that proposal, that project, with less time effort for the group will be given up.
- If you want feedback or comments on any problem you raise in the group and you know in principle which of the colleagues in the group can help you better, specify from whom you expect an answer or who you ask to comment, so that no irrelevant feedback appears and / or unstructured; when you ask questions to everyone, everyone might feel compelled to answer, even if it doesn’t have a relevant answer, which again, can mean thousands of useless messages; if you absurdly asked the question of a wrong person who says he has no answer, but someone else in the group has the correct answer, he will most likely send that answer to the group, so he will solve the problem.
- In the end, please remember that any message and any response on a Whatsapp group are in reality “reply to all” situations which, like email reach all the members of the group to all the recipients, which is why many people gather. or hundreds of such messages per day in the communication thread, only on one such group; how many people need, especially in the current context, to manage more and more Whatsapp groups, for a single person there can be thousands of messages every day only from Whatsapp groups, without counting the messages on the individual account, the interaction from all the other social ones media and, of course, many daily emails; In the case of the email, we must always think about receiving a group message if it is good to send a “reply to all”, for the sake of efficiency of communication and collaboration: think of a WhatsApp group, we have to put this one the actual problem with each message sent, because each one means a reference to everyone!