Organizing Phone Calls
I’ve got to be honest… I hate talking on the phone. More times than not, if someone leaves me a voicemail, I will send a text or email response rather than call back. For work, I have learned this is actually a great way to stay on task. Another reason I prefer text or email is to have a record of communication. I can search the words used in the conversation and I know instructions and important information won’t be missed.
Obviously, in the workplace, phone calls can not be avoided and are absolutely necessary in many situations. Here are some helpful tips for an organized way to use the phone.
- Have an agenda prepared for the call. Make sure you know how you want this conversation to end. Make notes and talking points before even dialing the number.
- Make it snappy. Remember, when you are calling someone you are interrupting what they are currently working on. Give the same respect you would expect taking a phone call while busy on another project. On the same hand, be up front with how much time you have to talk when someone calls you. You can answer the phone like this: “Hey, NAME, I’ve got about X minutes to talk, how can I help you?” If the call will take longer than you have at that time you can schedule a call for later in the day.
- Schedule in your return calls. Figure out a convenient 30 min time frame where you can return any missed calls. This will give you a mental break from what you are currently working on and give you a chance to interact with people for a while (that’s really important to me). If you communicate with clients and associates in different time zones, 12:30-1:00pm is a great time because everyone is in the office.