Business Class: Pick Up The Phone

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I wonder what Alexander Graham Bell would think of all the technology that has evolved since his invention of the telephone. All these new gadgets and communication vehicles (cell phones, texting, email, social media) have made it easier to stay connected but have also isolated and sometimes hurt relationships because of the lack of face-to-face, or voice-to-voice communication.

Take for instance, a phone call. What do you do when someone calls you and asks you to return the call? Do you call them back? Or send an email or text?

If you send an email or text, it could hinder your business relationship.

But is this considered bad etiquette? According to my research, yes, it can be. It certainly might be easier to resort to an email or text, but many consider it impersonal and inconsiderate.

Here’s my rule of thumb: If someone calls you and asks for you to call them back, please call them back. Tone and intonation can be misread in an email or text. Perhaps they had additional questions that required a conversation. While some argue that an email may be quicker, other times, it could take longer to communicate as messages could be misinterpreted. Voice-to-voice communication is often preferred. Most would agree that you should respond in the manner that the conversation was initiated.


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