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Phone Etiquette 101

People still “see” you even when you’re on the phone

phone ettiquetteDo you think that people can’t see you when you’re talking on the phone? Wrong. You’d probably be surprised by how much you convey about yourself during a phone conversation.

We’ve all heard the old adage, what you say is not as important as how you say it. Studies show that this is true. The message we convey to others depends on a combination of our tone of voice, the words we speak and our personal presence.

When we talk with someone face-to-face the overall impression we make is determined 7 percent by words, 38 percent by voice and 55 percent by personal presence, according to studies done at UCLA in the 1960’s by Albert Mehrabian, PhD.

When we’re taking on the phone, the tone of our voice becomes even more important. Before you pick up the phone think about the message you’re about to convey. Here is some basic phone etiquette to help you make a better impression over the phone.

Keep Smiling

One of the easiest ways to make a better impression is to smile when you’re talking on the phone. The person on the other end of the phone will hear it in your voice. And a smile in your voice will translate to a message that’s warm and friendly.

Pay Attention

It’s easy to think that the person on the other end of the phone won’t know that you’re going through your email. But they will. It comes across loud and clear when someone isn’t paying attention. Think about the last time you were talking to someone you didn’t feel was listening to you.

Plan Ahead

While you don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script, it is important to plan ahead. A long, rambling message, that goes on and on, and takes forever to get to the point, can be as annoying as it is ineffective. Make a few notes ahead of time, particularly if you’re likely to be leaving a voicemail.

Don’t Eat

This can’t be said enough: Don’t eat while you’re talking on the phone. The person at the other end of the phone will hear every chew you make. Eating during a phone conversation is not only rude, it’s rather unattractive, to put it politely.

Although email communication is rising, one of the best ways to develop a business relationship is personally. That means either in person or over the phone.

In today’s competitive job market it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. Just make sure that you stand out in a good way.

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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