I had 2 telephone experiences yesterday where both people I spoke to really sounded like they were in a hurry. It wasn’t just that they were speaking pretty rapidly, but the urgency in their tone of voice made it sound like they were in a rush to get off the phone as soon as possible.
It made me a bit uncomfortable, like I was keeping them from something else more important than my call. I felt like I was intruding despite calling for help.
In one case I was speaking with an administrator at a real estate office in Arizona, following up on a referral check that was to be sent to their office that day from an escrow company. I wanted to verify it was the correct office and address, since the information was different than on the referral form I had received.
I found myself feeling a little guilty at first, but as the call continued (with me on hold for a bit, too), I found myself getting a tad bit annoyed.
I was trying to verify something I felt was important but the impression was that I was interrupting. I don’t think it was just me. But maybe it was a bad day!
I thought about it some more afterwards and I have to wonder…
Are there times when we answer
the phone or have a
conversation where we might
be perceived as being in a rush, or
not being helpful, or even rude?
Certainly there may be times a call comes in and it’s not the best of circumstances for us. But the caller doesn’t know that, and the manner in which we answer the phone and attend to the caller can convey a pretty powerful message…yes, I’m listening and trying to be helpful, or quite the opposite.
We’ve all been on those calls where the person we called is NOT helpful. It can be unpleasant and create a pretty negative impression about the person you called, and worse. Have we done that ourselves?!
Maybe it’s what we say specifically. Or perhaps it’s the tone of voice that conveys something we really don’t intend. Unfortunately while the words might convey a helpful attitude, sometimes the tone of voice says otherwise.
I know how I reacted when speaking with that administrator yesterday. I doubt it was her intention to sound so hurried, and implying she was trying to get off the phone quickly. Maybe not. We did accomplish my goal – verifying the needed information – but the whole exchange felt rather uncomfortable.
Something to keep in mind whenever that phone rings and you pick up, don't you think!?