What happens when you put the phone down?

Scenario 1. Someone calls you. You’re in a rush, maybe in a long queue or doing a transaction at the bank. You’re not sure exactly who’s calling or why but you decide to take the call, instead of letting it go to voicemail. Then you speak to the person, only briefly enough to tell the person that you will speak to them at another time. But you make no attempt to clarify who called and how best to reach them.

Scenario 2. Someone calls you. You didn’t get a chance to answer the phone. You call the number back a few minutes later. The original caller picks up and asks whether you are (insert your name) because she recognises the phone number she initially called. Instead of answering her, you throw her a question : Why? What is this call about? She gives you her name and her company. However, before she can say anything else, you’ve interrupted her to say you got a missed call from her and proceed to put the phone down.

I can list down quite a few scenarios of similar vein to these above. But if you’ve acted like this before, I guess the questions you should ask yourself are :

1. Are you aware of how you come across?

2. Does it even matter to you how you are perceived?

3. Have you jumped the gun thinking you know what the caller is going to say to you and pre-empting that?

4. Is there really benefit in not wanting to find out exactly what the call is about? 

We tend to view the occasions when we need to be on our best behaviour rather narrowly. It’s not just about how we dress, how we behave at the workplace or how we talk to our colleagues or subordinates. There are many other occasions when how we act, what we say and the manner in which we speak, says volumes more about us, than we might perhaps intend.
Some of us tend to be braver on a device (phone, laptop, tablet) than in person. We might do things on these devices that we would never dream of doing in person.
There’s two questions to ponder here.
Firstly, when you put the phone down, have you understood the effect you’ve had on the caller?
Secondly, is that the effect you intend? If it is, so be it ….but if it is not, why haven’t you stopped?

About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

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