Well, maybe it’s not a great debate, but it certainly is a great conversation.  So here goes, when you see you have a voice mail message from someone do you …

(a)  Listen to the message, or

(b)  Just call them back

As someone committed to creating clear and concise communication (and in my ever present focus on managing my time and respecting others) when I call someone I leave a message with as much detail as possible so that

(a)  They know the reason I’m calling (and whether or not they even need to call me back)

(b)  When they do call back, we’ll have a frame of reference to move the conversation forward.

Confession:  This has been a pet peeve of mine.  When I leave a message and the person just calls back without listening to the message, I would get frustrated that I already left the details and now have to repeat myself.

I posed the question on Facebook the other day and got great feedback and insight that will now help me, feel less frustrated and be able to better communicate — the way others want it to be … not just how I want it!  After all, isn’t that the key to successful communication?  Making sure that we deliver our messages – in business and in life – the way the receiver wants to hear it and not the way we want to deliver it!  (Oh geez, I guess it’s NOT all about me!)

So here goes … Modern Day Phone Etiquette

  1. I will still leave a detailed message and if the person just calls me back without listening, instead of getting peeved I’ll think to myself “Oh isn’t this wonderful, they were so excited to speak with me that they didn’t want to waste a moment before we really connected.”
  2. I will still listen to my voice mail messages before just calling back.  I know there are others, like me who  appreciate and use this valuable tool for time management and continuous forward movement.
  3. When I make a new connection with someone I’ll ask “Do you prefer voice mail or text messages?”  (FYI … even though I’m not part of Gen Y, I do love texting!  It’s a great way to deliver quick messages  i.e. “I’ll meet you at the restaurant at 1 pm” and allows me to give quick responses to someone if I’m on the other line without having to disrupt my current conversation.”

And speaking of phones, isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come…


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