Pay Attention to Your Behavior While on the Phone

Posted September 8, 2015

From placing orders to negotiations, every business depends on a telephone and phone conversations. And like any other form of business communication, this calls for a certain amount of etiquette.

Whether it's out of consideration for the people in the office around you or the person on the other end of the line, you should always be mindful of professional phone etiquette. Practicing good phone etiquette conveys professionalism and competence to people outside the organization. When done properly, phone etiquette also maintains a certain amount of decorum in the office.

Here are just a few simple etiquette rules to keep you from falling into any phone-related pitfalls.

1. Pick a safe-for-work ringtone

Straight Outta Compton might be one of the most popular movies this year, but having an NWA song as your ringtone is generally frowned upon in a professional setting. Stick with simple tones, or better yet – just leave it on vibrate.

2. Don't interrupt a meeting to answer a call

Unless you're waiting for a vital call, text or update – shut off your phone before starting any kind of meeting. Answering a call or constantly checking your phone send the signal you’re just not that into the proceeding and the person or persons you are meeting with may take offense.

Likewise, don't set your phone down on the table in front of you when sitting down face to face with someone. This too sends to signal that any slight interruption is more important than your conversation.

If you are waiting for a call you absolutely must take, inform the person or persons you are meeting with that you are expecting an important call, briefly explain the importance and apologize when the call comes in.

3. Be mindful of those around you

Don't take calls or even let your phone ring in common areas where focus and concentration are important. Even if you are in an area when a ringing phone and conversation are acceptable, be aware of your speaking volume. If people around you are giving you dirty looks during your conversation, there’s a good chance you are talking too loud.

Also, if you are using a speakerphone – let the person on the other end of the line know who is within earshot. Not doing so can open both of you up to the awkward situation of someone in the room hearing criticism not meant for their ears.

4. Avoid leaving long, unintelligible voice mails

Many people dislike even checking their voice mail. So if you need to leave one, make it as short as possible. In fact, consider sending a text or an email instead of leaving a voice mail.

If you decide a voice mail is the absolute best format for your message – speak clearly and give the reason you called. When giving your phone number, say it slowly and repeat. One of the worst things you can do is leave a garbled phone number so the person cannot call you back.

At Ambassador, one of the leading employment firms in the South, we prize etiquette and clear communication. Please contact us if you’re looking to acquire some of the area’s top talent to meet your staffing needs.