We all have moments of questionable behavior. After all, nobody is perfect. But in some professional situations, mistakes cannot be taken back. When poor judgment is exercised in the wrong situation, such as with a client, reputations can be reflected on an entire organization—and not just an individual. And nowhere is this more important than when engaging in audio conference calls.
By and large, one of the most important things to pay attention to is your language when you get on the phone with a client or colleague. It doesn’t matter if you consider your client an old friend; professionalism is still necessary. Therefore, avoid profanity, slang and distasteful jokes—whether you consider them to be offensive or not. You work hard to maintain your reputation. Why, then, would you put it on the line for the sake of a cheap laugh?
Remember that conversations can be fun and easygoing without venturing into the realm of “racy.” After all, the last thing that you want is
a lawsuit coming back your way. You never know who might be listening on the other end of the line. As the old adage goes—don’t talk money, politics or religion outside your family.
In order to prevent saying something that you might otherwise regret, it is important to know exactly what you want to say before you get on the line. Even if this means scripting your conversation before you pick up the receiver or taming the inner joker inside of you, it is worth the few minutes.
Further, it will help you from being unprepared during a call. One thing you want to avoid is “winging” it on the phone. Even if you have a good rapport with a client, always prepare to speak with a company higher-up who might be listening in unknowingly on the other end. Remember that, aside from your reputation, the reputation of your colleague or client is on the line, too. You wouldn’t want their boss to get a bad impression of your relationship.