Even My Mom Is Too Busy To Talk

phone etiquetteWant to know why I know? Because I asked her. It went something like this:

me: Hey mom, how’s it going? Are you busy?

mom: I’m busy for the next few minutes, can I call you back?

No big deal, right? Actually, it is a big deal. Have you ever had someone call you, or come in your office, and just start chatting? And you were super-busy, or working on a tight deadline? And you really didn’t have the time to chat? Disrespectful, right?

Whether you are in a job search or building relationships (aka networking), make sure you respect the other person’s time. Ask them something like:

  • Do you have time to talk right now?
  • Are you busy?
  • Do you have a few minutes? (and then, only take a few minutes until you clarify that they have more time!)
  • Is there a good time we can talk about xyz?

I don’t know why I’m weird about this, except that once I hired a guy that had no concept of other people’s time. I was okay with it and found ways to deal with it. But when I heard about it from my peers (the management team) I was embarrassed – and had to do something about it.

Even when I have a call that has been scheduled I usually ask “is this still a good time?” Who knows what came up, and I want to make sure the other person is going to give me their attention.

Respect. It’s a good thing and it goes both ways.

2 thoughts on “Even My Mom Is Too Busy To Talk”

  1. There was a secretary in my old firm who would walk in to our offices and begin talking, interrupting private conversations. We warned one another with an IM that she was on the prowl. Some moved their offices to be further away from her. However, she bought a clue and left.

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