Today, checking your phone on a regular basis is the new norm. We need to be connected to our email, texts, social networks, and calls. So, as a society, we carry our smart phones from the time we wake to the time we lay them on our bedside tables.
Where in the past telephones were accessible at your office desk and hung on your kitchen walls, they are now part of your day-to-day routine, making their way into board rooms, onto the golf course, and out to client dinners. Don’t get me wrong; I think the smart phone and cell phone can be fantastic productivity tools, but as they have taken increased prominence in peoples’ lives, it is imperative that a successful professional understand how to use the tool politely, as well as effectively.
Towards that end, I offer you the following smart phone/cell phone etiquette tips:
- Get permission to delve into the call. After you identify yourself, always ask “Am I calling at a bad time?” or “Is now an OK time for us to talk?” Give the person who is receiving the call the opportunity to say that you’ll need to get in touch later. After all, there’s no sense in wasting your time or the recipient’s time by launching into your reason for calling if the other party isn’t able to listen and discuss what you have to say.
- Don’t use speaker phone in public. Use speaker phone only in a private, closed space. Speaker phone was NOT intended to share your discussion with the entire office, store, or restaurant.
- Inform the caller of the audience. If you choose to use speaker phone, let the caller know that others are able to hear what they are saying. Ideally, also let the caller know who is in the room with you that can hear the conversation. The caller deserves to be aware of the audience.
- Be aware of phone location. When attending a meeting, do not place your phone between you and another person. It creates a visual barrier and, much like body language, can send the signal to the other person that you are trying…