At a recent workshop, I was asked for advice on a challenge I’ve never encountered. While I certainly have some thoughts and suggestions, I’ve decided to share this challenge with you.
Have you also experienced this challenge? Please share your ideas and feedback in the comments section below.
Two people in the workshop mentioned that they have difficulty ending a phone call. They find themselves in an awkward back and forth situation that I can only describe as verbal volleyball. It might sound something like this:
“Okay, well thanks.”
“Yeah, thanks. I’ve enjoyed talking to you.”
“Yeah, me too. Always great to talk to you.”
“We’ll talk again soon.”
“Yeah, for sure. I look forward to it.”
“Yeah, so do I. Well … okay.”
“Okay, uhm, bye.”
My first, somewhat thoughtless answer to this question is … goodbye – to end a phone call I say “goodbye”. But even as I said this, I knew it wasn’t true. The word “goodbye” didn’t feel or sound right when I said it. I don’t think it’s a word we use very often anymore. Perhaps we are favouring the more casual “Bye” instead?
Since I was asked the question, I’ve been paying more attention to how I end my phone calls. My habit is to quickly summarize the conversation, get agreement and then hang up. Much to my surprise, I’m not even saying “Bye”.
Here’s a sample of how I wrap up a phone call:
“Well, thanks so much for calling. Based on what we’ve discussed, I’ll prepare a proposal for you and send it on Monday. Does that work for you?”
“Yes, Monday’s fine, and even later in the week will work for us as well.”
“I’ll make sure you have it on Monday and we’ll talk again once you’ve had time to review it.”
“Okay, we’ll talk again soon. ” Click
So now I’m curious. How are you ending your phone calls? Is there an etiquette we should be following? What do you think?