What is Telephone Etiquette?

On the job, at home and in public there are certain rules of etiquette to be followed for telephone use.
On the job, at home and in public there are certain rules of etiquette to be followed for telephone use. | Source
With the popularity of face-to-face talking on cell phones and computers, you'd better dress for business if on a conference call.
With the popularity of face-to-face talking on cell phones and computers, you'd better dress for business if on a conference call. | Source

What Is Proper Telephone Etiquette and Why Is It Important?

Etiquette is simply using manners, being courteous and respectful of others. Learning and following the rules of etiquette help to make the people around you feel comfortable.

Lacking manners or failing to follow the established rules of etiquette for the situation at hand is one sure way to make a bad first impression, whether it be in person or on the telephone. When you irritate someone with whom you are talking by appearing to be rude or disrespectful, that person is less likely to hear your message or to receive it positively.

Following the rules of etiquette for your situation may not be immediately noticed by those around you or the other person on the phone, because after all, everyone is expected to adhere to common courtesies. Failure to adhere to the rules of etiquette will get you noticed immediately -- and a bad impression, first or otherwise is difficult to overcome.

Your job performance is likely determined to some degree on how well you practice etiquette. While there is no subject on a performance review specifically marked "etiquette," your efforts in this area will reflect on issues such as getting along with co-workers and management and your effectiveness in communication. Don't jeopardize your job or your career for failing to know what is expected of you in the way of etiquette and following through by putting that knowledge to work.


Texting fever seems to be everywhere these days. Keep in mind to whom you are texting and your surroundings to help you know the correct etiquette for sending -- and receiving -- those text messages.
Texting fever seems to be everywhere these days. Keep in mind to whom you are texting and your surroundings to help you know the correct etiquette for sending -- and receiving -- those text messages. | Source

Cell Phone Etiquette

Personal Telephone Manners and Etiquette

Cell phones have changed the world of telephone conversations vastly. People no longer have to be at home to make or receive phone calls. Cell phones are an important feature in a mobile and technology-driven society, but the use of them has required the establishment of new manners associated with personal phone use.

Keep these general rules of personal phone etiquette in mind when using your cell phone or land line phone:

  • Control your phone. Just because your phone rings, it doesn't mean you have to answer it. You may be at a social event or spending time with family or friends. Turn off your phone or set it to silent when you are in situations where you don't want to be disturbed. The caller can leave a message, or at the very least, the caller's phone number will be recorded on your phone for a return call later.
  • Speak softly and watch your language. Other people are likely to be able to overhear what you're saying, even if they don't want to, if you speak too loudly. Don't assume your conversation is private unless you are alone in a private spot. Avoid cursing and foul language, again because others may hear you talking and be offended by the language.
  • Turn off your phone in libraries, houses of worship, theaters and in restaurants.
  • Don't call anyone except closest friends or relatives before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Speak slowly when leaving a message. Be prepared to leave a message before you make a call, that way your message will be to the point and include any important information you wanted to share. Speak slowly rather than rushing through the message and be sure to speak slowly and clearly when leaving a return phone number.

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Comments 5 comments

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Very clear concise presentation of phone etiquette. I am going to share it.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

Hi Tireless Traveler, I appreciate the read and the share. Etiquette for email and texting should be following soon.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Nice.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Great Hub! Most people are not aware of phone etiquette today so this hub is greatly needed in my opinion. I love the photo of the old fashioned phone and old fashioned telephone operator. Cell phones have certainly changed the phone etiquette, I think for the worst. Thank you so much for this article. Voted up!


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City Author

SuzetteNaples, thanks! Glad you found the info on telephone etiquette interesting and necessary. Any suggestions that you'd like to add?

Those old phones bring back some memories, don't they?

Appreciate the read, comments and vote.

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