Telephone etiquette rules for all occasions

All the rules of telephone etiquette are based on the same principles of mutual courtesy, respect for another person, his time and space. If you are unsure of a person’s ability to answer a call, it’s better to write a message first and find out. In the era of instant messengers, a phone call began to be perceived as a sharp invasion of personal space. Analyze the situation each time, think about the age of the interlocutor, his status, possible condition, etc. What is allowed for us in communication with loved ones is not allowed with other people.


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7 basic rules of telephone etiquette:

  1. You should not use the phone or make conversations if it may cause inconvenience to those around you.
  2. Working days are considered to be working days from 9:00 to 21:00. Individual organizations and individuals may have excellent daily routines, this should always be considered.
  3. Before giving a phone number, check it with the owner.
  4. Do not forget to introduce yourself at the beginning of the conversation, as well as the words of greeting, thanks and goodbye.
  5. The person who started the conversation ends the conversation.
  6. If the connection is interrupted, the caller calls back.
  7. Hanging up, abruptly ending a conversation, or dropping a call is bad form.

Voice messages

Statistics show that there are fewer people who love voice messages than who are annoyed by them. Audio messages always require permission to send, and the addressee has every right to inform that at the moment he cannot listen to it and answer when it is convenient for him.

The exact data (address, time, place, names, numbers, etc.) are not indicated in the voice message. The person should be able to address them without listening to the recording.

telephone etiquette

1️0 telephone etiquette questions and answers

  • Is it appropriate to answer an important message on the phone while talking in parallel with someone live?

During the meeting, it is advisable to remove the phone by turning off the sound. This is how you show interest in the other person. If you are expecting an important call or message, notify us in advance, apologize and answer. However, try not to give the impression that you have more important things to do than talking to someone else.

  • If the second line calls you – in what cases is it inappropriate to ask to wait for the person on the first line?

The priority is always with the one with whom you are already communicating. It is more correct not to make the first one wait, but to call the second one. But it all depends on the situation and on your relationship with the interlocutors. You can always politely notify one of the participants in the conversation and agree to wait or call back, indicating the time.

  • After what time is it indecent to call? In what situations can an exception be made?

Again, it all depends on your relationship. After 22, it is usually too late to call on personal matters (for an employee of the company – after the end of the working day), but if you are used to calling up before bedtime, then communicate with your health. If the situation is stalemate, then you can write a message, this will bother the other person to a lesser extent.

  • Is it appropriate to write to messengers after 22:00 (WhatsApp, social networks)? Can I send messages, sms at night?

Late time, night and early morning is not the time for correspondence and calls, if you are not so familiar with the person and his regime. Not everyone turns off the sound on their phone, and you can wake up or raise questions from loved ones. Why be annoying?

  • A girl shouldn’t call the first man ”- is that so?

Etiquette, contrary to many beliefs, is not about muslin young ladies, it changes with society. Currently, a girl’s call to a man is not considered indecent.

  • How many times can you call a person on business if he does not pick up the phone?

If we take a standard situation, then it is believed that you can call a second time after 1-2 hours. And that’s all. Write a message where you briefly state the essence of your appeal, the person will free himself and will call you back.

  • If you are busy and the phone rings, what is right: pick up the phone and say that you are busy, or just drop the call?

It is impolite to drop the call. It would be more correct to pick up the phone and agree on a time when it will be convenient for you to call back. If you have a long, serious task to complete and you do not want to be distracted, warn your colleagues. Maybe someone can take on the temporary secretary function.

  • How to behave correctly if the interlocutor eats during a conversation?

A business lunch in a restaurant implies a joint meal and communication. However, it is indecent to speak with a full mouth, and to eat while the other is speaking. A tactful person will not express his indignation, but will determine for himself the degree of importance of subsequent relationships with the interlocutor chewing during the conversation.

  • If you got a call during a snack, is it appropriate to pick up the phone and apologize for chewing, or is it better to drop the call?

The best way is to chew your food, say you’re busy, and call back.

  • How to politely end a conversation with a very chatty interlocutor who ignores that you are busy, you have to go, and continues to tell something? Is it appropriate to hang up? What can I say without being impolite?

Hanging up is impolite anyway. Your tone should be friendly but firm. Agree to continue the “fun” conversation at another time. So, the person will not have the feeling that he has been abandoned. And if he needed to speak out right now, then, probably, later this desire will disappear from him.

telephone call

There are many more rules of telephone etiquette than we have managed to cover. It is important to remember that there are rules, and there is a specific person in a specific situation. A sense of tact, the ability to put yourself in the place of another, adherence to basic rules of courtesy will allow you to observe telephone etiquette, even if you are unfamiliar with all of its rules.

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Question: How to quickly end a conversation if obsessive “salespeople” call you?
Expert answer: I usually answer: “Sorry, I have to interrupt you so as not to waste neither my nor your precious time. I am not interested in this service. “

Q: The earliest etiquette call is on weekdays and weekends.
Expert answer: Everything is very individual. Government agencies often start their working day at 9, business – at 10-11. A freelancer can start his day at 12 or even 2 pm. It is not accepted to call on weekends on business issues. In the era of instant messengers, it is more appropriate to first write and, after waiting for an answer, call.

Question: If you called at “ethical” time, and the interlocutor was clearly sleeping, or is asleep – do you need to apologize and end the conversation?
Expert Answer: You should always apologize for causing concern. And the expediency of a conversation with a sleeping person is questionable.

Dear readers, what questions do you have for me on telephone etiquette? I will be happy to answer them.

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