Irrespective of the size and location of any organization, most of the professional dealings and transactions normally happen over the telephone. As phone communications often occupy a greater part of our communication module it is hence advisable to know the rules associated with it so as to make sure that the right information is passed on.
Phone conversation is very different from the other kinds of communication methodologies that are used. The listener does not get to see the sender and can only listen to his voice. Thus the listener has the disadvantage of not able to visualize the sender’s body language while the sender has the disadvantage of not being able to use his facial reaction to convey the message. Thus to establish a successful phone communication in spite of these disadvantages, it is necessary to follow the below mentioned rules carefully.
1. Always smile when you pick up the phone. The listener at the other end will not be able to see your facial smile but can always feel it in your voice. It helps create a good impression at the first step. A smile when you talk also enhances your vocal clarity and quality and makes you sound relaxed and pleasant.
2. Never multi-task when you are in a telephone conversation. Put aside all your work and involve yourself in the conversation. Give your complete focus and concentration and listen attentively to the speaker. Do not divert your attention and stay with the conversation till it is completed. This helps to avoid any miscommunication or gaps that can be caused.
3. Do not barge in when your speaker is still talking. Provide ample time for the caller to complete his statement and his opinions. Once he has completed, start your side of the conversation but ensure again before you start. It is not considered as a proper etiquette to stop someone in between when they are communicating.
4. Allow people to talk more freely. Use open ended question so as to facilitate a two sided conversation. When you let the other person talk more, they get comfortable over the issue and also tend to participate more openly. This will also improve the confidence level between you and your caller.
5. Always modulate your conversation style and speed based on your caller’s style and speed. Soon after your conversation starts, analyze the style of your caller and try to increase or decrease your speed to match up with him. This will increase his comfort levels and will provide an increased affinity towards you.
6. Plan your words with caution. Frame your words in such a way to provide a positive outlook of the aspect. Do not use a lot of complicated words and jargons as it might take the listener out of context. Also remember to break sentences into simpler forms to ensure that your listener can understand them clearly. It is also a must that you use clear pronunciations and sentence usage so as to convey a clear message.
7. If in case you are to provide a telephonic presentation, make sure that you are prepared before the call starts. Any kind of flaws or breaks can create a greater negative impact as the listener does not have the opportunity to look at you in a direct way. Thus rehearse your presentation well before you take the call and communicate with your client or employer. Also think of all possible questions and scenarios you might be confronted with. Note them down and plan accordingly.
8. In case you feel that you are not good in communicating well over the telephone, record your conversation and go through it to overcome your weakness. You can prepare a list of all flaws that were committed and decide to rectify one at a time. This will help you improve on your phone communication skills hugely.
9. Voice mail is a useful form of technical advancement but do not use it unless and until extremely required. Many people do not prefer listening to voice mails and hence there are increased chances that your message might not be conveyed properly. In case you need to use voice mail, make sure that the message you record is not more than 30 seconds and that it contains all relevant information required for the listener to call you back for more details.