Are You Telephone Savvy?

The telephone is the most common business tool and its proper use is essential for career advancement.   

Are you telephone savvy?

When you make calls do you:

  1. State your message briefly and clearly?
  2. Leave your name, organization and phone number, repeating these twice, slowly and clearly?
  3. Give the full name of the person for whom you're leaving the message?
  4. State the date and time of the call?
  5. State whether you'll call back or you'd like the other person to call?
  6. Ask for a return call at a time you'll be available?

When you receive calls, do you:

  1. Identify yourself?
  2. Use courtesies such as "Please hold while I complete another call?"
  3. Offer to take messages when you're answering for someone?
  4. Repeat the caller's name and number to make sure they're correct?
  5. Speak in a professional manner?
  6. Does your answering machine have a pleasant, professional and courteous message? Leave a good impression?

Scoring: Give yourself one point for each "yes." The higher your score, the more telephone skills you possess. A score of 9 or less suggests you could enhance your skills. 

Tips for strengthening telephone etiquette are reviewed in my next column: Additional tips are discussed in "Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life"