Proper Telephone Etiquette

What is the Proper Telephone Etiquette, Proper Phone Etiquette for business? Which Cell phone etiquette applies? This is how to have good telephone manners. Related searches: proper phone etiquette, phone interview etiquette, business phone etiquette, telephone manners, telephone etiquette

proper telephone etiquette


The phone is used for instant communication and convenience. It definitely makes our lives easier. Imagine the days when people communicated by telegrams? I wouldn't want to go back to those days.

Sometimes these conveniences are abused. Here are some good telephone manners:

How to have Good Telephone Manners

Be courteous and polite at all times

Remember if you made the call, it is your responsibility to end the call.

Always speak clearly and be articulate

This is the proper phone etiquette when answering calls.

When To Call the Telephone?

When you want to chat or catch up.

When To Call The Cell Phone?

The cell phone is used for urgent communication, for example, to notify your friend when you are running late or to get directions.

Do not call to chat.



Home Telephone Etiquette

Manners and etiquette are not the same. Now that we have covered behaviour (manners), we now will move on to code of conduct (etiquette).

Answering Phones

When answering the phone, it is good phone etiquette to identify yourself first. "Hello, this is Grace. May I please speak to Kelly?"

Do not eat, sneeze, cough, laugh loudly into the phone.

Call Waiting

If you have call waiting, do not leave the person on call waiting for too long. Either make it brief or suggest to call back later.

Children Answering The Phone?

Do not let your child answer the phone unless he/she understands how to pass the phone to the rightful recipient.

It can become frustrating for callers especially when your child starts sprouting gibberish, singing or eventually hanging up the phone.

If Answering By Speakerphone

If you answer by speakerphone, it is proper telephone etiquette to let your caller know immediately.

Wrong Number

If you get a wrong number, do not ask the receiver, "What number did I call again?". The proper telephone etiquette is to simply ask politely, "Is this 123- 000-9083?"

Leaving Messages on the Answering Machine Etiquette

If you are leaving messages on the answering machine. Be sure to keep it brief, to the point and leave your contact details as clear as possible. It is frustrating for your recipient to decode your message in their attempt to return the call.

Let it ring considerably for one minute before hanging up. Someone may just be rushing to get it.

Ending the Phone call

And of course, never shout into the phone or slam the phone down on someone.

Say your goodbyes before putting the phone down.

Proper Telephone Etiquette For Business

Be courteous and polite. Your manners reflect the company!

Do not answer the phone with a "hello" or "yes?"

There is usually a company greeting protocol such as, "Bloomingdale's, Good morning, this is Kelly."

If you use the speakerphone, tell the recipient so immediately.

Never eat, cough or clear your throat on the phone.

Do not carry simultaneous conversation with someone in the room and the person on the phone.

If someone enters the room while you are on the phone, give priority to the person on the phone.

If you have to, hold a finger up or turn your back and end the call quickly.

See also Business Telephone Etiquette

For more business etiquette, see Elegance at Work.

Proper Telephone Etiquette for Cell Phone

Proper Cell Phone Etiquette

Cell phones should be in silent mode in a restaurant, theater, museum, library or any public place that requires some silence.

proper telephone etiquette

Silence Phones on Trains

Phones should be silent on trains where the proximity of people are small. The exception to this is a crowded place such as a busy mall where your cell phone is not a disruption.

Cell phone etiquette on trains


If you are on a call, speak softly, make it brief. However, you may text or sms to your heart's content.

Be considerate when you are on the phone in the public area. There should be no reason people in proximity can hear your entire conversation.

Try not to answer your phone during dinner or when you are entertaining. If you really need to, make it brief or tell your caller to call you back.

Texting on Cellular phone etiquette

Do not be text messaging when you are in the company of others.

If you have to, please say, "I'm sorry, do you mind? I have to get this" And this should be done only in only in extremely urgent cases.

See also Cell Phone Manners

Beware of noisy vibrating sounds when your cell phone is in silent mode!

Do not answer another's persons phone

Unless of course, given the go-ahead. Answering someone else's phone call is an invasion of privacy.

If you really have to, immediately identify yourself and state the reason why you are answering the person's phone, "Rachel's phone, Anne speaking. Rachel is driving at the moment."

Voicemail greeting etiquette on a cell phone

Make it brief and clear. Basically, you should identify yourself because that's the whole point.

If you want to be elegant, there should be no cheesy jokes, loud cowboy music or a long winded cute message. Keep it short and sweet.

When Driving, Please Use Handsfree

And oh, please use handsfree or speakerphone when driving. Do not enter your driving safety or the passengers that you are ferrying.

You might also be interested in:

  • 1. Business Email Etiquette
  • 2. Business Meal Etiquette
  • 3. Proper Business Card Etiquette

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