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How it works

In the red ...

... you find things that many people consider to be crossing the line.

The yellow ...

... ... includes references to the heterogeneity of the university community. Students, teaching and administration staff have different needs, attendance times and communication channels. For an appreciative exchange, it is essential to talk about one's own needs and to respect the wishes of the other person.

The green ...

... collects suggestions and possible solutions for successful communication. The responsibility for this lies equally with all members of the University community. The prerequisite for this is that one's own needs are communicated transparently in order to give the other person the opportunity to respond.

When and how?

Whether a communication is perceived as appreciative also depends on time factors and the choice of medium.

  • Examples of protected periods are night rest, weekends, public holidays, parental leave and holidays (please note the regulations specific to the target group). Lecture-free periods are not full holidays).

  • Before giving someone else their contact details, you should ask them if they want you to do so. This excludes any contact details that are publicly available in the list of people on the home page.

  • Individual contact preferences can be communicated, for example, in lesson agreements or via the homepage, e.g. with reference to specific office hours or a preferred communication channel.

  • Part-time staff may have longer response times due to the reduced number of hours they work. When making initial contact, it is advisable to give the other person a little more time to respond.

  • Lecture-free periods are not full holidays. Outside of vacation periods, students are expected to check their University email regularly for urgent information and communications.

  • Regular opening hours: Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 17:00. Part-time staff will advise adjusted office hours.

  • Use the official email address of the Nuremberg University of Music. Call the office number (if available).

Phone calls

Telephone contact allows for direct, uncomplicated communication.

  • Call without warning at weekends or other protected times. If a phone call seems necessary at the weekend, at least send a short text message to explain the request and ask if you are available for a short conversation. Refusals must be respected!

  • Calls to private numbers unless the person has authorised them for business use. If you know someone socially, you should keep business and personal matters as separate as possible.

  • A voicemail message that simply asks for a callback is problematic because it does not allow the urgency of the issue to be assessed. It is advisable to leave more detailed information so that the person called can respond appropriately to the subject of the call and its urgency.

  • Some like to make phone calls from 9 am - others are usually in class at this time.

  • Does it have time until the next working day?

  • Communicate how and when you can best be reached. Use the personal directory on your home page and your email signature.

  • Possibly make an appointment in advance if it is foreseeable that the conversation will take longer.

  • At the beginning of the call, the reason for the call is explained so that the urgency and approximate duration can be estimated.

  • A friendly tone of voice encourages appreciative communication.


Communication via the university's own email address is secure and reliable at all times.

  • Messages are written specifically for a selected group of people and are only intended for them. Therefore, before forwarding an email (especially if it has a long history), you should check the message history for sensitive content.

  • Sending emails covertly to other people. In the interests of transparent communication, emails sent to a group of people who are known to each other should not be sent to individual people in a hidden way. The blind copy function should only be used for large distribution lists for privacy reasons.

  • Using visible mailing lists to send emails to large groups.

  • Sending a lot of unbundled information about a topic in different emails

  • Reply to other topics under a thematically defined email subject, rather than using a separate, easily searchable subject line.

  • The time taken to respond varies greatly. For this reason, you should plan for longer response times (e.g. from part-time staff). If an enquiry has to wait longer, it is advisable to send a short note.

  • Consider whether the matter can be clarified in writing or whether a face-to-face meeting is necessary.

  • Who needs to be informed and who only wants to receive the most important emails?

  • Advantage: The message arrives safely.

  • Choosing the right form of address is not always easy. If you do not know the person personally, it is advisable to start with a formal greeting. Possible formulations are

    Dear Ms./Mr. ...

    Good morning (first name and surname)

    The last option is for people who do not fit into the gender binary.

  • To avoid misunderstandings, be as clear as possible.

  • Let them know if a response is required and, if so, within what time frame.

  • In the signature, you can choose which pronouns you want to use when referring to yourself. Possible phrases are

    • My pronoun is he/she. Please let me know how I should address you.
    • I prefer to be addressed beyond binary attributions and do not use a pronoun for myself. Please let me/me know how you would like to be addressed.
  • Misleading wording will be corrected on a second reading.

  • Requests are automatically answered with information on the duration of the absence and contact details in urgent cases.

Messenger services

Various short message services can be used for short, up-to-the-minute exchanges. Sensitive data should not be sent in this way.

  • Messenger services may only be used as a means of communication after prior consultation with the person concerned.

  • Short messages do not include official applications and the like.

  • Expect constant availability and immediate response.

  • Important co-ordination processes that require careful consideration and the involvement of all participants take place in chat groups.

    Messenger services present their own unique challenges due to the real-time communication and low-threshold format. Care should be taken to ensure that everyone involved in the communication is given sufficient time to respond. Where communication goes beyond purely private matters (e.g. for work or study appointments), care should be taken to ensure that individual use of messenger services and private mobile phones as a whole is taken into account.

  • Sending long voicemails without a topic reference. To decide when it is best to listen to a multi-minute voicemail, it is important to know the urgency of the topic.

  • With messenger services in particular, it is important to agree on preferred times and channels and stick to them. Individual ideas often differ greatly.

  • For example, emoticons can support friendly communication :-), but they can also send inappropriate or misleading messages.

  • Make sure there is room for friendly and appreciative interaction despite the brevity of the message.

  • Make sure that despite the brevity of the message, there is still room for friendly and appreciative interaction.

  • To avoid misunderstandings, be as clear as possible.

  • Misleading wording will be corrected on a second reading.

Video conferences

In addition to face-to-face meetings, online meetings have become established. The digital format has some special features.

  • Video conferencing is more demanding than face-to-face meetings. Therefore, everyone should contribute to ensuring that the meeting can be completed within the scheduled time frame.

  • In addition to the problem of third parties listening in on confidential meetings on public transport and in public spaces, the conference is often disrupted by strong background noise and poor connection.

  • Mutual perception is more comfortable for many people. Many situations benefit greatly from non-verbal communication and visual feedback.

  • Is the message relevant to everyone, or is a private message more convenient/efficient? Communication should always be designed so that everyone can participate.

  • For example, you should only eat during a meeting if the other person does not feel disturbed.

  • In a professional context, you can use a background image to protect your privacy.

  • One person should moderate the conference, keeping an eye on requests to speak and a sensible structure. It helps to have a view where everyone can be seen.

  • Use chat to note questions/messages for later and use the report feature.

  • Signal non-verbal agreement to the person speaking if you agree. The constant muting raises the inhibition threshold for verbal contributions. Visual feedback can be used to quickly get the group's opinion.

  • Take regular breaks, move topics if necessary and finish on time!