Work & self Duty calls. Also, the power of positivity
DO state your name when you pick up, and use a clear professional tone of voice. Find out the other person’s name immediately, and use it during the conversation; this demonstrates attention to detail, and adds an appealing personal touch.
DO be friendly, courteous, approachable and upbeat. And even though the other person can’t see you, smile when you pick up the phone – a positive tone of voice makes for a great start.
DON’T let the phone ring more than three times when answering a call. And don’t keep the receiver on hold for longer than necessary. It creates a bad impression. DO make sure you can be easily heard. Switch off the TV in the background, close the car windows, or move to a spot that is quieter if need be. Basic manners!
DO maintain an even, confident pace. Mumbling creates frustration (and it sounds weak), and speaking too fast makes the other person feel rushed.
DON’T place anyone on hold without telling them first, and don’t keep them on hold for minutes on end. It’s just bad manners. And whatever you do, don’t leave the phone lying on your desk; the receiver will hear everything that’s being said in the office. Make sure you use the hold function if you do have to step away.
DO give your full attention to the conversation. We can all sense the distraction that goes with someone reading emails during a business call.
DO end your conversation with a summary of any steps that might need to be taken. If you need to return any calls or follow up, always do so when promised and on time.
DON’T eat during phone calls. It’s completely unprofessional. Ditto for using slang and swearwords in a business capacity.
DO stay calm. Even if the other person is infuriating or downright rude. Count to 10, breathe deeply and keep your temper under control. Remember: you’re a corporate representative, and both you and your employer have reputations to maintain.
Try Monique’s high-protein overnight oats recipe for the easiest mornings ever.
What you’ll need 4 tbsp rolled oats 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 tsp raw honey Dash of cinnamon Water
The how-to In a container or bowl, mix the rolled oats, peanut butter, raw honey and cinnamon together. Once properly mixed, add water until the contents are just covered.
Mix well and put the bowl in the fridge, covered, overnight. Enjoy it the next day, either cold or warmed on the stove.
Leave out the water. Replace with unsweetened almond milk or coconut water. Then add fresh berries, nuts, seeds or raw cacao as alternatives to the peanut butter.