A situation like this has probably happened to you before:
You’re in the bathroom, in a stall, doing your business. The lady in the stall next to you is doing her business. By business, we mean she’s having a full-blown phone conversation with a coworker while going to the bathroom while on speakerphone!
Resist the urge to ask from your stall: “So, are they firing Jim?” Just because you overheard her conversation doesn’t necessarily mean she wants you to be a part of it.
- Must Read – A Guide to Theater Etiquette Basics for Children
The purpose of this wonderful guide is to ensure that these awkward situations happen less and less. We could all benefit from some lessons in phone etiquette, whether it be as extreme as this, or as subtle as keeping the cellphone away during dinner conversations.
Technology is everywhere, so we must learn how to deal with it properly and respectfully.
Let’s see how!
Phone Etiquette Rules for Everyone
The following rules can be utilized whether you are in a professional or personal setting. Common courtesy is the underlying foundation for all of these. Sometimes life gets in the way, and we forget.
Put It Away
If your phone is sitting beside you at the dinner table, chances are, you’ll spend a whopping 11% of the meal time on your phone.
Beyond the rude vibe it gives off to your dinner date, using a cellphone actually makes you enjoy the face-to-face interaction less. Probably because you were too distracted to enjoy it.
If you need to place somebody on hold, do this: “May I please put you on hold?” Wait for their response before doing the action.
Don’t do this: “I’m gonna put you on hold really quick.” Click.
Kindly ask a person for their permission. Chances are, they won’t argue with being placed on hold. You’re going to do it anyway, so you may as well make the effort to be sensitive.
Apply this rule to any similar questions or situations!
This is common for most of us: we respond within five seconds, or within five days. There is no in between.
We urge you to fight this trend! Be as prompt as possible when responding to important text messages or phone calls. Place yourself in the receiver’s shoes and understand that you too would like a response sooner rather than later.
Stay Off Speakerphone
And avoid the awkwardness we discussed above. Just don’t do it. Unless you’re on a conference call, every conversation should remain one-on-one.
Just like we encouraged you to be present during a dinner date, we encourage the same presence during phone calls.
Distracted phone calls are terrible. When somebody is having side conversations, cleaning the house, driving, and the like, phone calls take longer because there are issues in communicating.
Sit down, have your conversation, hang up, and then continue with your chores.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Now that you’re armed with some phone etiquette, we encourage you to go out into the world and spread the respectful vibes.
The best part about utilizing phone manners yourself? You’re sure to influence others to do the same. Be the change you wish to see in the world, as they say.
Nobody’s perfect, but we can always be better. Much better than the sound of flushing toilets in the background.
It all boils down to this: treat others the same way you’d like to be treated. We grew up learning that one because it’s tried and true!
If you have any phone pet peeves, vent to us!