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Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Call me back," Click. - Aaaargh!!

You know what I hate? Receiving voicemails that simply say, "Hi, this is so and so, call me back." Click.

What's up with that?!?! I hate it!! Ding!

Give me some info! Why are you calling? What do you want to talk about? Is it good or bad?

What's barely better, but still annoying, is "Hi, this is so and so, call me back, I want to ask you something." Click.

What do you want to ask me?? Why couldn't you leave the question on the voicemail? Or how about at least the topic of the question or your reason for call??

I have to tell you, I honestly don't understand the mentality of people that leave messages like that.

How hard is it to simply leave a little info? It takes what, and extra four seconds to add a little detail...?

Here's the point (and it's not about proper voicemail etiquette): Great communication, whether over the phone, via email, in person one-on-one, or as a speaker to a group, occurs when the speaker communicates at the level of the listener.

One of the best communication quotes I ever heard is "the meaning of your communication is the response you get." It doesn't matter what you intend, or what *you* think is going on, what matters is how the other person responds. When you leave a "call me back" message, what you are essentially saying is that you are wrapped up in your head. It's true; you know why you are calling, so why should you bother explaining it.

One of the key things I teach when it comes to improvisation and creativity is the importance of getting out out of your head. When I teach communication and customer service (using improv), I focus on how important it is to get out of your own head and pay attention to the other person. Whether you are talking, listening, phoning, or emailing, take just a second to think about how your communication will be received, what response it will get, and whether you are providing too little information (or too much, which can sometimes be as bad) to the other person. Your communication and rapport with other people will go waaaaaaaay up.

And now you know, should you call me, to never, never, never, never, never, never leave me the "'Hi, this is so and so, call me back.' Click." message.

Was that enough nevers?

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