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Home > Blog > The Deadly Sins of Conference Calls
Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:26 PM
The Deadly Sins of Conference Calls
Kate Yandoh on Passionate Work

I admit, the main reason I don't like conference calls is that I am such a rabid traveler that, most of the time, I would gladly board a plane to sit down with you than press a 14-digit code to join your call. Especially when it's obvious most of you aren't really there, myself embarassingly included. Which leads to you not accomplishing much, which is often punishable by yet another conferenece call.

To keep future calls more fun and functional, I'm going to try and stay away from these con call killers.

Thou shalt not:

1) Read unrelated internet sites while listening. Yes, you may be a little bored and daydreamy, but this makes the call more pointless and may well get you busted when someone breaks in to ask what you thought of the last 20-minute soliloquy. If thou art really so bored, take thee some good notes.

2) Begin a call without knowing how to mute your phone, sparing your co-callers the sounds of sneezing, heavy breathing, or the voice of the server at the drive-thru window.

3) Take the call on the couch or lounger when dialing in at home. You know how they say people can 'hear' you smiling? We can also 'hear' you lounging and dangling ever closer to a nap.

4) Bear in mind that we can also 'hear' your hand gestures, although eye-rolling is a less detectable con call benefit.

5) 'Drop off' the call to take another call, then reappear 10 minutes later demanding a recap.

We all know the magic number for sins and virutes is seven...which two would you add?


4 comments

Thomas Tunstall - 3/16/2006 9:21:30 AM
If someone is catching up on their email during conference calls, maybe the moderator should make the meetings more interesting. Are you asking questions, or just pontificating? And where's my agenda?
Tracy - 3/14/2006 2:54:22 PM
Thou shalt not, in a mixed setting (some in-person and some phone attendees) forget the phone participants by placing the phone under the waste basket in the corner of the room (or other sub-optimal, non-audible location) or by forgetting to announce who you are when you chime in...at least until everyone gets to know your voice. In my experience, that's three times.
Whitney - 3/13/2006 7:37:08 PM
Thou shalt not run your end of a conference call on a speakerphone in your CUBICLE, subjecting your neighbors to the chatter of your call and your callers to the chatter of your neighbors.
Jennifer Warwick - 3/11/2006 1:30:35 PM
If you won't hit mute because you want to be able to chime in any time, no worries - just be silent. There's nothing worse then trying to have a productive conference call over the nonstop click-clack of a keyboard while someone catches up on their e-mail.

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