Telephone Etiquette

A good read on Telephone Etiquette by Hanrie Hill

Telephone Etiquette should be a compulsory subject at school level. It is one of the most frustrating things to try and talk to someone on the phone who:

    • Does not listen.
    • Eats, yawns or sneezes.
    • Speaks too softly or “swallows” their words.
    • Uses “jargon” or “slang”.
    • Uses endearments e.g. “sweetie” or “lovey”.


There is a long list of telephone frustrations when you speak on the phone, remember your listener can’t see you.

“Umm” is not a word, so stop using it. You only ask “how are you?” when you want to know the answer. People form a perception about you (your brand) 17 seconds after you have greeted them on the phone. Make that time work! Your voice is your brand, the way you show up in the world. Use courtesy and respect and you are half way there. If you speak too fast, too slow, too “high” you lose instant credibility. Control your voice, your breathing and your words.

Book of the week: “The one minute manager meets the monkey” by Ken Blanchard, William Oncken JR and Hal Burrows.

Movie of the week: “Flight”
Reason: You can fool some people but you can’t fool yourself.