Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't mute the phone



Don't mute the phone. I hate it!

Most of my business is done using phone. When I say business, it is not the multi-billion dollar empire but the coordinating the activities of different teams located in different geographic locations separated by national boundaries and time zones. This will not amount to billions of dollars. May be a million dollars. On second thoughts, a fraction of million dollars. On further thinking, who knows?

It is a common practice to mute the phone when someone thinks they have nothing to contribute. It often happens to me. I'm on a call with somebody who is supposed to do an activity based on my instruction. We are to analyze the results together. The people at the other end mutes the phone because the last task communicated would take a couple of minutes. They have good intentions. They don't intend to distract me with the background noise. While doing so, they don't realize an important aspect while putting the phone call on mute. They are distancing me away from their activities.

The background chatter provides a connection for me. I know they are working and also having fun instead of doing tasks monotonously. At times, I know they are cracking jokes while working. They are other people pestering them for output while they are working towards what I asked for. The stray conversations in the background also let me know if they understood the task assigned to them. It also lets me know if they are on the right track.

How do I know all this if you mute the phone? By muting the phone, while on a important call during work, adds to the mental disconnect with your coworker at the other end!

Tags: Musings,Mute,Telephone,Teams

12 comments:

  1. loved d last 4 lines of ur 1st para - the way u put it

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  2. @Sujatha - :) Thank you. It also reflects the truth.

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  3. nice point and hope the business is in billions :p

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  4. @JoshiDaniel - Thank you. :)

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  5. This is an unprofessional attitude even if done with good intentions.May be expressing this feeling directly to them would be helpful.

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  6. @Kavita - I tell it so often that my calls are almost never muted. Nevertheless, I thought of expressing my thoughts over here.

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  7. Hope they read your blog post , this attitude of theirs is really annoying .

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  8. @Kavita - Some of them do. :)

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  9. Yep, absolutely when there are only two or three people on the call and are supposed to interact.

    But in status meetings lasting an hour or more, muting is an accepted practice and am thankful for it especially when participants join in from public places.

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  10. @Dominic - On the first point, when multiple team needs to interact. On the second point, do you hear a lot "can you repeat that" kind of remarks when in a status meeting? Mostly, it results from muting and turning your attention away to other stuff. :)

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  11. hey...nice post..the fonts cud be bigger lil :D
    do drop to my blogs..wud love u read it.

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  12. @Chitra - Thanks for dropping by. I like small fonts. :| Definitely, I will drop by your blog

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