How NOT to Take/Make a Business Call

It is unbelievable how some people act on a conference call or even a business related call. From my experience here are some pointers on how NOT to impress your colleagues/clients/developers. (All based on actual things I have experienced)

  • Make a business call while in the drive-thru at McDonanlds…and then ask me to hold while you order your “Big Breakfast”. You called me – why couldn’t you wait until at least after ordering?
    What it tells me: You do not respect my time and this will not be the last inappropriate call. Anything is game.
  • Have multiple conversations while on a call. Setting up a call with me, then talk to your co-workers about unrelated topics in between actually taking to me – who you called is just not acceptable.
    What it tells me: You are over scheduled or have no idea how to stay focused. Reviewing the project with you is going to be a bear.
  • Answer another line, without asking me to hold so I can hear the drama with you and your spouse.
    What it tells me: You lack discretion and inappropriate comments are soon to follow.
  • Yell at your co-workers while on the phone. If this is how you treat someone that you work with day in and day out – perhaps I should stay clear from you and your business.
    What it tells me: You have respect issues and interactions with you are going to be rough.
  • Talk to your kids while on the phone. Telling them to “go watch TV” or anything else while Daddy is on the phone just does not cut it. If you work at home – make sure your family members have boundaries.
    What it tells me: You have no boundaries and are going to expect me to work all hours of the day (since you do as well).
  • Take a call with very loud background noise. I have been on conference calls with people who had to literally mute their line when they were not talking because of the background noise. If you cannot find somewhere quiet to take/make a call – perhaps you should just wait.
    What it tells me: You think your time is worth more than mine.
  • Make the call, but then answer all call-waiting incoming calls. I know there are exceptions and emergencies, but if we have a 30 minute call scheduled and you put me on hold more than three times, perhaps this is not great time to take the call.
    What it tells me: You have a lot of other higher priorities than what is being discussed.

Seriously – phone calls should be to the point and between the parties on both ends done with mutual respect. This is not rocket-science – it is just a matter of time and respect.