Telephone Skills #1: Showing Courtesy to your Visitors when Talking on the Telephone

Showing Courtesy to your Visitors when Talking on the TelephoneSuppose you are talking on the telephone and a coworker visits your desk for a conversation. Do not make your visitor feel insignificant by ignoring him or her. Show common courtesy by following these simple steps.

  • Acknowledge the visitor’s presence with a wave and a smile. Then, gesture to him or her to take a seat close to your desk.
  • If you have an appointment with the visitor, your telephone call was probably unscheduled. Or perhaps, your phone conversation has been longer than you expected. In either case, if you sense your telephone call is not likely to end in a minute or so, defer your phone conversation. “Hey, Sharan. I have a visitor here at my desk. I have an appointment with her. Shall I call you back in the afternoon to complete our discussion?”
  • If the visitor is unscheduled or if the telephone call involves an important topic, defer meeting the visitor by writing a small note. Hand over your note to the visitor with a smile. “Sales review till 2:00pm. Will visit you or call you.” Alternately, if you believe your call will end soon, write down “Two minutes, please.” You can then continue to concentrate on your phone conversation.

Practicing these good manners will enable you to prioritize the visitor over the telephone call or vice versa, as appropriate.

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