With the onset of mobile revolution, most people have developed enough of a telephone style to get by. But still, there are some useful and effective phones skills that most people tend to overlook. It is not unusual to find people change their suppliers or vendors merely because they were treated rudely over the phone. In fact the biggest telephone offence is that the caller is treated as an annoyance and not as a welcomed guest.
People make the mistake of assuming that the other person would be always readily available over the phone. Since more than half the people are not there when you try to reach them, it would be a good idea to have a complete message prepared and ready before you call the other person. It would make your work easier in leaving a message.
To avoid phone foul-ups it would be prudent to be aware of background noise which may probably make the person at the other end unable to hear what you are saying. Do not be drinking or eating and talking on the phone at the same time as it would make the listener feel as if he or she is a second fiddle to a mug of tea or coffee. If you do, be careful to raise the receiver so your gulps are not amplified and transmitted.
Some people hung up the phone only to later realise that they forgot to raise an important issue. If there is an agenda to cover, it would be advisable to have ready a list of the topics that need to be discussed. Each topic can be crossed off after it is tackled.
Unlike face-to-face communication, where the other person can rely on facial expressions and gestures to interpret what the other person is trying to communicate, communication over the wires (as well as wireless) needs to be relied on the language. So, one has to be careful with his language, lest it is misinterpreted or misunderstood. Positive vibes should originate from your language; else a question may sound like an interrogation.
Pause in between a discussion is common and it shows that the other person is giving a thought to what you have just said. When there is a pause after the other person finishes speaking, do not jump right in and say something. Give the other person some time to make sure he has finished saying.
Allowing for a brief pause shows the other party that you are more concerned with what the other person is saying than you is with what you have to say. However, it should be kept in mind that pauses should be no longer than 2 seconds as people start getting nervous after that.
It is still true that the most beautiful sounds to a person’s ears are the utterance of his or her name. So, remember to mention your listener’s name when you can. In a subtle way, it would make the conversation seem a bit more personalised. It would almost seem as if you are communicating face-to-face. But do not go overboard as few things are more annoying than to hear someone mindlessly beginning every sentence with your name.
Lately, some people have developed a time-management mania that primarily strikes down frantic, harried people with poor time- management habits. In the process of breaking down their schedule to minutes, people have ended up with two full time-jobs instead of one they previously had.
The additional job is to neatly make personal time- management spreadsheets using different colours with enough priority lists, files, folders, and charts. It is another thing that this job has taken away few leisure hours from their daily schedule. This type of malady has the ability to bury a person under a mountain of routine.
And the most futile part of this tendency is that if your routine is too complex and the techniques are too hard to get used to, after few weeks you will find yourself slipping back to your old habits.
Positive time-management habits can be developed using our time to greater advantage by implementing a mere handful of commonsense practices. The simpler the tips, the easier it would be to continue practicing them over an extended period of time.
People pass of each day accomplishing only those things that are a must in the short term. Probably, their to-do list fails to include items that may be helpful in the long run. People rarely bother to stop and think about what it is they want to achieve with their lives, or even where they would like to be five years from now.
It is so much easier to study for tests, apply for jobs and accomplish the clearly structured day-today objectives that the present tends to tyrannize the future. So, include tasks that are linked to the long run in your to-do list. They should at least contain objectives you would like to meet one month in advance, a year from now, and five years from now.
Without a strong sense of your own objectives, one cannot even hope to manage his time wisely. It means one should know what you want out of life and what you want to achieve from all your hard work. Once that is understood, it would be easier to evaluate activities that either help you or hinder you. The comfort level with the decisions you make regarding how you spend your time would also increase.
With the passage of time, people change and with it their objectives and priorities also change. So, one should have a flexible system of prioritizing each demand, problem, opportunity, objective and activity. That would help at a crisis point, as you would be less likely to abandon them.
Also, learn to coincide your time investments with your central concerns regarding what you must do to stay alive, healthy, and be able to pay the rent. Be prepared to accomplish more than one thing at o time.
Another aspect of time-management is dealing with interruptions many of which are predictable and necessary. It is best to anticipate interruptions and our schedule should never be so tight that we do not have time for the incidental, the unexpected, or the interruption with a silver lining. However, one has to be aware of self-interruption because people tend to put off things they dislike, are difficult or that which may not produce immediate results. It would also be useful to understand the difference between positive and negative interruptions.
Have a strategy to deal with the information explosion. Set aside some time each day to read mail. Challenge the well-accepted theory that work expands to fill the time allotted. Try to shave a day or two by becoming more efficient. And most important, learn how to say ‘no’ if you truly do not have time for something unimportant.