3 telephone-talk tips

By October 16, 2018December 6th, 2019No Comments

Ever been on the phone and couldn’t stand the phone habits of the other person on the other end? Did you ever think that you could also be doing some things that are driving the other person around the bend? Phone communications can go wrong so quickly and easily, so it makes sense to be aware of and use strategies to prevent that from happening.


This was exactly the topic of a recent live video I hosted. If you weren’t able to join us live, no worries. You can watch the videos here:


These 3 tips will help you to minimize the likelihood of your phone calls being ineffective, and they will boost the chances that your phone communications are successful.


  • USE HIS/HER NAME. This doesn’t mean bandying it about to the point of overuse and irritation. Rather, it means using it certainly at the beginning and once or twice during the conversation. Doing so personalizes your message and connects on a human basis.
  • WATCH THE TONE. Keep your tone friendly and approachable. Do what call centers do and put a mirror by your phone to watch your facial expressions and make sure you’re smiling–they can “hear” it in your voice.
  • AVOID DEAD AIR. Oooo, this is a big one of my pet peeves. If you’re working on something, keep the other person advised of what you’re doing. Walk them through, step by step, so there is no wondering. If the air is filled with silence, that void becomes filled with trepidation and undermines rapport and trust.


  • DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO. Start and end the phone calls on time. Not only is this respectful of the other person’s time demands, but it also shows that you’re a person who does what you say. You can be relied upon and trusted.
  • LISTEN UP AND VALIDATE: Listen up and make sure you understand the other party’s concerns and questions. Use their own words to paraphrase at various points in the conversation. Demonstrating that you truly understand their challenge or request shows that you empathize and likely can be relied upon to find a solution.


  • RECAP. End the call by recapping the highlights and the next steps agreed upon. This will refresh the other person’s mind and ensure that you’re on the same page. It will also assist in managing expectations.
  • THANK YOU: Simple manners go miles to build rapport and relationships. Thank the other person for their time and input. Doing so helps to cement not just the call, but the relationship.


  • When leaving phone messages, avoid that annoying telephone tag. Make sure your message say why you’re calling, what you want the person to know or do, and if you require a phone call back or not. Say your name and contact information slowly and clearly, and repeat it to allow them time to write it down.
Which one of these tips will you put to use? Which one did you find most useful? Looking forward to seeing your posts and hearing how these suggestions help you to increase your phone effectiveness.

PS: please feel free to share with your colleagues, boss, and clients. Everyone needs communication tips at some point.

Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein, Workplace Communication Consultant, travels across Canada to help business people and organizations communicate in the workplace to get better, faster, easier results. She can help you too. 289-969-7691 OPT-IN to Marion’s Workplace Communication Tips enews at

Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.

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