You’re not prepared for why you’re on the call
Have you ever been in a meeting or on a conference call and not sure why you’re there? So you simply dialed in and sat there, mostly in silence while another person ran the meeting? “Many people don’t know what the agenda of the call is, so they’re not prepared to contribute,” says Sarah Kaler, co-founder and CEO of Soul Powered, a women’s leadership and education and research company. When you don’t know what the agenda is, you’re not able to fully prepared in advance in a way that will add value and make meeting productive and efficient, says Kaler. In order to maximize your time and everyone else’s on the call, request information via email from the call initiator to get a sense of the purpose and desired outcome of the call so you’re prepared. Get more tips on today’s business etiquette.
You’re not primed to take notes
If you’re on a work call, always have a pen and paper, or a tablet ready, says Sharon Schweitzer, founder of Access to Culture Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. “When the caller is about to provide an important phone number or address, and you aren’t ready, it’s mistake that speaks volumes. Don’t make them listen to you shuffling around trying to find a piece of paper.” Note taking goes further than getting a phone number, shares Vicki Salemi, career expert at Monster.com. “Taking notes is incredibly helpful as it gives you something to refer back to and follow up with questions you may have on your mind” she says. Here are some things highly organized people do every morning, so you’ll always be prepared.
You’re typing and responding to e-mails
If you plan to take notes on a keyboard during the call, let the person on the call know ahead of time. “Although the person you’re speaking to may not say it, the click-clacks on your keyboard are definitely discernible,” says Schweitzer. Otherwise, they might think you’re checking e-mails, commenting on social media, or not paying attention. “Don’t embarrass yourself by sending the message that your e-mail is more important than the person on the call. Your e-mail will still be there after the phone call ends,” she says.