Have you ever been infuriated by another person’s bad manners regarding the use of their cellphone? Talking too loudly, or even paying more attention to their phones than others around them? I’m almost certain we have all been there.
We have continuously abused the privilege of this advancement in technology and now, we must become more intentional about minding our phone manners.
-Always answer your calls beginning with a greeting, ”Hello”, ”Good morning” etc. Even if you are not in good terms with your caller, for the fact that you’ve answered the call, be polite enough to start with a greeting.
-Be mindful of the tone of your voice while on the phone. The receiver cannot see your facial expression to strike a balance, they will respond to the tone of your voice.
-If it’s a business line you are receiving a call on, introduce yourself to the caller after a greeting. E.g. “Good morning, thank you for calling Garneti Exhibit Limited, my name is Etienying, who am I speaking with? ” It creates a conformable atmosphere for the caller.
-Never raise your voice or be rude to a customer on the phone, remember the customer is in charge, right? They pay you, therefore be patient with them.
-Be mindful of your surroundings and ensure that you are not giving out too much information that may be confidential (a text message may be considered).
-Use speakerphone with the consent of the caller if there are other listeners, except a case where you need witnesses or for safety reasons.
-Avoid talking to other people while on the phone. If you must attend to someone or something while on the phone, take an excuse and be brief, even if the phone bills are on you.
-Turn off your phone or put it on silent mode when present at a meeting. It’s rude for a meeting to be interrupted because of your ring tone.
-If you must make or receive a call at a formal gathering, take an excuse and be brief.
-We unintentionally appear rude and unrefined when we pay more attention to our phones than the people around us, especially at social gatherings. If you are bored or uncomfortable at a gathering, you may excuse yourself and leave. If you must be a part of the gathering, you should try to socialise, however moderately, to avoid false congeniality.
-If your caller reaches a wrong number, respond nicely with a, ”I’m sorry, you have called a wrong number” or your preferred choice of words. I’ve heard of a love story that started with a wrong number call and ended in a beautiful marriage. It could be you. Many a blessing could come in disguise. It could be a business opportunity too. Always intentional!
-Playing music /watching of video clips with your phone in public places should be done with the use of an earpiece. The fact that you are in the mood to listen to a song, it’s a trending song or your favourite, doesn’t give you the right to impose it on others around you. Same goes to playing games with soundtracks etc, be polite enough to use a headphone and keep the volume minimal enough for you to be responsive to the sounds in your surroundings.
-It takes courage to speak up on most matters, but it takes discipline to listen to most things. Be patient while someone is talking, allow them to finish what they have to say before making your own point. It is rude to butt into people when they are talking, even if you think you have a better opinion. If you must interrupt, say ”excuse me” and observe if they want to give you a chance before you chip in your point. ”Very important”
-When you call a person once or twice and they don’t respond, two things are involved, they are either not with their phone or they don’t want to answer. It’s inappropriate to keep calling as you may constitute a nuisance to the people who have the phone close to them but don’t have the right to answer. Also, remember that we don’t have a constant supply of electricity in Nigeria, and you may be draining someone’s battery.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to answer a call, mute the phone when it’s ringing out loud to the hearing of others.
-Endeavour to receive a phone call within two to three rings. Too fast may catch the caller off guard and too late may also appear arrogant.
-If you miss the call, return promptly, and start with an apology.
-Spelling people’s names, while texting, with small letters is totally unacceptable. A name must be written, beginning with a capital letter. There’s no excuse for spelling someone’s name beginning with a small letter.
-Don’t make your phone appear more important than the people you are with unless you intend to be rude and if you must be rude, kindly stay away from ladies and gentlemen.
Keep it classy always.
Etienying Akpanusong is a certified Civility Coach with expertise in Etiquette, Image Transformation and International protocol. She was trained, certified and accredited by both The British School of Etiquette and the International Association of Professions Career College. blog posts on our website.