Not Dialed In: The Top Conference Call Offenders

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-21-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Not Dialed In: The Top Conference Call Offenders
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    Not Dialed In: The Top Conference Call Offenders

    The difference between an effective conference call and a choppy, counterproductive one boils down to preparation and basic consideration for others.
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    Tower of Babel
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    Tower of Babel

    37% of surveyed professionals said the most distracting or annoying part of a conference call occurs when multiple people talk at the same time.
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    Sound Clutter
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    Sound Clutter

    24% of those surveyed said excessive background noise stands out as the most distracting/annoying aspect of conference calls.
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    Partial Participation
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    Partial Participation

    9% said the most distracting/annoying moments of conference calls occur when attendees aren't paying attention.
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    Silent Gesture
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    Silent Gesture

    7% cite the times when attendees think they're talking but they're actually on mute as the top distracting/annoying aspect of these calls.
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    Musical Interlude
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    Musical Interlude

    7% said the most distracting/annoying part of a conference call happens when attendees put the call on hold and prompt "hold" music.
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Late Arriver
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Late Arriver

    No one appreciates the participant who disrupts everything in mid-call. Make sure you have your dial-in details in advance.
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Multitasker
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Multitasker

    Yes, your colleagues can hear you typing loudly or running a faucet during a call. So go to a quiet place and focus on the business at hand.
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Techno Transgressor
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Techno Transgressor

    It isn't befitting for a CIO to misuse phone access codes or accidentally put himself on mute when speaking. Familiarize yourself with the conference call system before dialing.
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Scene Stealer
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    Classic Conference Call Offenders: The Scene Stealer

    Just as in face-to-face meetings, it's considered bad form to interrupt participants or monopolize discussions during conference calls. Share the floor and—because there may be audio delays—wait a second before speaking to avoid talking over someone.
 

They serve a useful purpose but—let's face it—conference calls can often seem like an experience to endure rather than an opportunity for collaborative excellence. As a CIO, you are inevitably asked to participate in these calls. As a result, you've likely suffered through the classic conference call miscues: excessive background noise, on-hold music interrupting the flow, attendees talking over each other and—of course—the colleague who thinks he's responding to a question, but is actually on mute. These and other conference call snafus were recently ranked in a recent survey from OfficeTeam, illustrating that the difference between an effective conference call and a choppy, counterproductive one essentially boils down to advanced preparation and basic consideration for others. "It's tempting to let your guard down on conference calls because participants can't see you, but basic meeting rules still apply," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "To get the most out of these discussions, join on time, offer your undivided attention and be respectful of other attendees." As an added bonus, OfficeTeam has included a list of classic conference call offenders, and we've included some of those here (along with tips to avoid these behaviors). More than 1,000 U.S. professionals took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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