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The Essential Phone List

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The Essential Phone List -- General Phone Etiquette

General Phone Etiquette

Making calls:

1. Introduce yourself as soon as the person receiving the call answers. Do not roll into a conversation immediately and let him or her try to guess your identity; not everyone has Caller Line Identification.
2. Don’t call a person and then make him wait. Even if the wait is brief, it is arrogant to assume that the receiver of your call should hold the line until you are ready to talk to him. Make your own call. If someone else makes the call for you, wait on the line.
3. Allow at least half a minute for your calls to be answered.

Receiving calls:

1. In an office/organization: Greet the caller with the name of your organization. For example, “Hello. ABC Office,” or even, “ABC Office.” It is unprofessional to simply say, “Hello” and wait for the caller to seek further identification.
2. In the home: To reduce the chances of being the target of nuisance or obscene phone calls, never identify yourself or your phone number when answering a phone call at home unless you are sure it is not a wrong-number call. Usually, it is best to just say, “Hello.” If it is a wrong-number call, say, “You have the wrong number” and hang up; do not reveal your name or number.
3. If you do become the victim of nuisance calls, contact your phone company. Most phone companies have procedures to deal with such situations.

Does your phone bully you?

There are people who will leave anything or anybody whenever the telephone rings, especially mobile phones. They may be working on a crucial project with a tight deadline. Or they may have in their office someone who has travelled thousands of kilometres to see them, or worse, they themselves may be in someone else’s office or home. Yet when their phone rings, they give priority to whoever is on the line, no matter how trivial the call’s purpose may be.

In situations like these, have someone else answer your calls, or switch off or unplug the phone, or ask the caller to call again later, or offer to return the call at a more convenient time.

Do you use a mobile phone? Then read this.

This page last updated: March 5, 2009.