20-Year-Olds Don’t Get. He makes some very good points, but I don’t think it applies just to 20-year-olds. I think there are nuggets in the article that apply to everyone. I posted portions of the article previously. (Check the archives) Here is some more of the article along with some of my comments:
“Pick Up the Phone– Stop hiding behind your computer.
Business gets done on the phone and in person. It should be your first instinct, not last, to talk to a real person and source business opportunities. And when the Internet goes down… stop looking so befuddled and don’t ask to go home.
Don’t be a pansy, pick up the phone.”
I am a firm believer in face-to-face contact. When I worked in the Pentagon (1985), e-mail and the internet were just getting started. Most of our coordination took place by telephone. We played a lot of phone tag, even within the Pentagon. I accomplished more if I just walked over to the person’s office. In addition, it was good exercise.
I am not sure that the 20-year-olds have a problem using telephones. Sometimes I think that they surgically attached their cell phone to their ear. However, telephone etiquette is sometimes lacking. I wrote about using the telephone in my e-book, Leadership for New Manages: Book Two. It is available at http://smashwords.com//b/300090. Here is what I wrote:
"The amount of time spent on the telephone will vary with the job. It is appropriate for sharing bits of information in a quick exchange and for checking up on things. It is not appropriate for discipline.
a. Voice Mail
"I am always amazed to hear unprofessional answering machine messages. It gives a bad impression. Leader/managers should have professional answering machine messages or use the canned messages that come with the system. The same goes for leaving messages. Always state your name and leave a telephone number up front. If the answering machine cuts off the message, the key information is there. Do not assume that the person you are calling will recognize your voice or have your number handy. The rest of your message then follows. Return calls promptly--within 24 hours. Unreturned calls or playing phone tag frustrate and annoy callers.
"Leader/managers should always identify themselves when answering the telephone. That way the
caller knows that they have the right person on the phone.
b. Cellular telephones
"Using a cell phone requires certain etiquette. Leader/managers follow it. As a rule, people should place their cell phones in the silent mode during meeting. Leader/managers move to a place of privacy, if possible, to take calls. Cell phones now take e-mail message so that people are in instant contact with each other at all times."