Conference calling in the business setting requires a special kind of attention to detail, and adept understanding of process management. This article looks at some notable saying from Shakespeare for a lively and poignant way to get to the heart of how conference calling works. The goal is to help our readers get the most out of their next conference call.
Keep it Short (“Brevity is the soul of wit.”)
Remember the value of brevity when you’re on your next conference call. There are several parties sharing a single line with you and everyone has something important to contribute. The ability to summarize your thoughts into manageable chunks is a very helpful skill.
Brevity enables you to participate fully and freely on a conference call, without causing unnecessary irritation to others who also have important points to contribute. In a conference call, less is often more, so long as you are able to express your thoughts completely and effectively. Try to do without the gratuitous prefatory remarks.
Sometimes you Need to Speak Up (“Boldness, be my friend.”)
Performing at your highest level often demands the projection of confidence. Some level of nervousness or hesitation is normal. It is a fact of life, however, that doubting your own skill does not help when it comes to performing at your highest level.
This also holds true on a conference call. Try to relax so that your mind is free to contemplate the issues being discussed. The goal is not to dwell on how you sound or what other people in the conference call might be thinking about you. Be bold!
Just like everyone else on the conference call, you are there because your opinion, and your expertise are important. Tell yourself that you do have the capacity to make a positive contribution to this conference call. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you have something to say.
Ensure Accountability (“And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.”)
Conference calling does require a certain kind of etiquette, and it’s always good to think about other people’s feelings. Being on a teleconference, as opposed to speaking to people in person, does not mean that you can do away with social conventions of politeness and courtesy.
Don’t be afraid, however, to let someone know when you disagree. When a mistake has been made, it’s important that the participants in the conference call hear the voice of dissent or correction. This cannot be achieved without a frank appraisal of the reality.
That said, there is no need to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, to forego the truth on a conference call, just for the sake of making someone else feel good likely only generates a short term respite at the expense of the group’s broader mission.
Know What You Don’t Know (“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”)
Putting these tips and insights together highlights a larger theme. We need to be willing to learn, and willing to help unobtrusively when needed.
Aiming to adopt a professional attitude of quiet attentiveness to the process of the conference call will serve you well. Absorb the wisdom of these timeless nuggets from Shakespeare and your next experiences with conference calls will improve.