Phone with Etiquette or No Phone At All?
Yesterday a friend of mine sent a list of phone etiquette to make sure that we are being as respectful and professional as possible in the way we represent our company and ourselves as individuals. I am thankful for the list and I made a mental note of all the suggestions and implemented the changes that I could.
However, before presenting the list, I thought it was interesting timing that it was sent to me on the very same day that I published this article. Perhaps, since the telephone itself seems to be a dying form of communication, more efforts should be spent on putting the last nails in its coffin rather than focusing energies on doing it better. This was a point presented to me.
A conversation started about my article was about voice mail, for example. Here is a copy and paste from our email dialogue:
me: There is one person who calls me all the time. I mean all the time. Then, what’s more funny is they always leave a voice mail and the message is always the same “call me back when you have some time.”
“Call me back when you have some time??” I just spent 2 minutes checking my voice mail to find that??
friend: This is exactly the use case for having someone else answer your calls. That person obviously:
- Wants to talk to someone,
- Does not value your time,
- Doesn’t get the basic etiquette of leaving detailed messages,
- Frustrates you.
While we consider whether the phone is an interruptive technology that breaks focus and sucks our productive time, or whether it’s legitimate, relevant and useful we will continue to debate. In the meantime, here is the phone etiquette list that he sent me, with his comments [and my comments in these nice square brackets], that I think is good to adhere while we await the cultural and social shift to complete: