Stella Dimoko Communication Manners: Phone Calls,Emails,Faxes, Group Chats And Handmails


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Communication Manners: Phone Calls,Emails,Faxes, Group Chats And Handmails

Time to learn a thing or two with your time on the Internet!!!

Good day everyone
Today we are going to be talking about communication manners, in the work place. Now note that these communication streams may be opened or closed outside the work place or after work hours. But as long as it is work-related information, it is important you do the right thing.

Phone calls: This also applies to internal communication devices within the organization.
- Try as much as possible to answer all work related phone calls. Having a habit of not picking up your phone makes you seem unserious. It also doesn't give your colleagues confidence in your ability to be contacted during team work. Have a colleague who is usually unreachable is very frustrating.

- If you must pick up a work-related call in the middle of the night, try not to sound sleepy. This can be really difficult to get on with, but when you form this habit, it will be second nature. No bedroom-sleepy voice to colleagues please. If you are too tired, just switch off your phone.

- Do not be the first to hang up when someone places a call to you. Ensure they have finished saying what they have to and only hang out when you're sure they have ended the conversation and probably forgotten to hang up.

- Reply your emails, until the conversation has been closed.

- No short-form or 'lingo in official mails. Full English spellings please. You never know who will read the mails *side eye @ wikileaks*

- Try to be as explicit as possible in your mails. Say for e.g. you are trying to talk about a previously scheduled appointment; rather than go - 'I am calling to confirm if the appointment is holding today', you should go 'I am trying to confirm if the appointment with SDK regarding IHN is holding today by 2pm'. This is because you don't know the receivers state of mind at that point. So, rather than possibly wait for a 'which, who, what, when, where, why' thread of emails you just bare it all at once and get a yes/no/maybe response.

- I believe non-official communication should be off emails. You know some IT departments have access to official mails right? Don't let the devil use you.

Faxes: Very uncommon in Nigeria and (in my opinion) non-existent in small organizations. But if you've had the opportunity to work with one in Nigeria, shout 'hallelujah!'.

-Never assume the document you faxed has gone until the facsimile indicates so. Never assume a previous document is the same as the subsequent one, until you have looked at it.

- Please once a document pops up from the fax machine during work hours, check it out. I know fax machines can be very furstrating and have duplicate documents come in at once. But the other document may have slight but important changes to information.

- Discard all irrelevant papers that pop-up through the fax. Best if you have a shredder.

Group chats: Very common especially in these days of whatsapp. Many teams have WhatsApp groups to pass immediate information around.

- Please don't turn your official whatsapp group into an e-beer parlour. Keep all jesting aside.

- Don't turn it into a religious forum. Keep all prayers aside.

- Don't turn it into a wrestling ring. Avoid quarrels and ignore disagreements if they come up.

- Understand the need to explain yourself if the receiver didn't get a proper understanding of your message. Don't assume that what your wrote is what they received especially when they are brief chats. A lot of information gets lost in context.

Handmails: Like letter/document deliveries etc.
- Please sign a 'received by me' documents, stating your name and adding your signature and time of the day.

- Do NOT open without the permission of the recipient. It's invasion of privacy.

- If you can, leave it by/on/beneath their desk (depending on the size). Having the delivered mail in your custody makes you more responsible for anything that happens to it, for a longer period of time. Only do this if the original receiver permits you to.

That's all I can remember for now. Do feel free to share your ideas and comments.

Thanks and have a great week!

BV Chikito


  1. Thanks for this informative piece.

  2. Chikito, well done. Great informationπŸ‘πŸ‘.

    "If you must pick up a work-related call in the middle of the night, try not to sound sleepy. This can be really difficult to get on with, but when you form this habit, it will be second nature. No bedroom-sleepy voice to colleagues please. If you are too tired, just switch off your phone"

    On this, I feel the advise here should be 'give work related calls within the stipulated time of work or if it is an emergency, should be dropped through a text message' because it's kind of very annoying calling someone who should be having rest at the time for work.
    It's very annoying generally calling someone at odd hours when the person should be doing something else ( apart from urgent issues though)

    1. True @ stipulated time of work. But that works when you're in the same time zone.

      But let's say you have an important conference call from the US at 8pm Eastern time. And you've been trying to schedule this call for weeks, so this is the only slot you have. You also need at least 8 hours of sleep because you have a busy day ahead. So What will you do? You must pick nne πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  3. Nice one. But I don de tire for this blog, can't comment, can't open for almost 3months. Update, I have, delete history, I have, reboot, I have. This comment sef, I hope it goes through.

    Nice one, Chikito. The one that pisses me off the most, when you receive an email, read and reply. Don't go mute and say you didn't see or read it. It's simple courtesy.

    1. Yea, I hate that too. I just acknowledge receipt by saying 'received'. And I don't do that until I've read through the mail
      You can also request a 'read' receipt from your mail settings. Although that one will send a 'read' notification once the mail has been opened. Even if the sender has not read it through

  4. Helpful tips, thanks Chikito.

  5. Correct prep essay 😘

  6. Ugegbe m be making sense since 1900.
    Asa m I see you.

    My own contribution are

    Don't call someone with private number and start asking the person who he/she is and don't expect the person to talk 1st.

    If you call someone twice and the person did not pick, send the person a text message if the call is important. (some people can call you one million times in one minute without knowing the reason why you are not picking your call)

    If you remember someone you have not hear from for a long time, call the person and not flashing him/her.

    Flash only when something is important and you don't have airtime to call.

    Don't call people at midnight,unless you have emergency the person can solve at that time.

  7. Nice one, however, I don't agree with 'be not be the first to hang up. It's BS. If it's obvious we are done with conversation, and we have exchanged pleasantries, like 'ok, great or thanks, see you on Tuesday then, have a nice day, cheers' what again stops me from hanging up the phone?
    Whether you initiated the call or not, once it's very obvious the convo has ended and all have said goodbye, you can hang up. Take it from someone who has many years of customer service experience in the UK. Be as polite as possible and wish the person a wonderful day before hanging up.

  8. Another thing is that someone will flash you and you will call the person back immediately, instead of the person to pick up he/she will wait for the call to almost cut before picking it or will wait for the call to cut and you will call back the 2nd time before they will pick it.

    As for me, I hardly call back any number that flash me and if I manage to call you and you did not pick the 1st time, my dear forget it. Even if you call me back, I will not pick.

    I don't like what I hate.

  9. There is this my guy that if something is important to you, if you call him, he will never pick. Once the thing spoil or you have manage the situation, that's when he will call back. He will come and be asking you how he will right his wrong.

    The thing can vex me.

  10. I have learnt the hard way to never assume,if something seems unclear,ask questions.Always read emails to the end and open all attachments even those that seem like duplicates.Listen attentively so you do not miss even minute details.Emails should be detailed but simple and straight to the point.Do remember that the cycle of effective communication is not complete until there is feedback. Please no work related calls in the middle of the night biko except it is an emergency or there was prior information. You can't expect alertness by that time.
    Also try as much as possible to keep personal issues aside in the workplace as this creates a tense environment.

    Thanks Chikito. A highly informative read.

  11. Thanks guys! Excuse typos oh! I wrote that all in about 20 minutes and I didn't proof-read.

    1. Learn to proof read, it's very important in communication abi what was that your topic again?

    2. Don't worry @Ferida I'd ask you to proof-read for me next time 😁 Hopefully you don't forget the topic before reading to the the end 😜

  12. Wow! I've learnt a lot,thanks! But I'm guilty of ending calls once I'm through with the conversation,even if I was the receiver...

  13. Dear Chikito, nice write up. Let's also remind ourselves that while it is necessary to respond to especially official calls appropriately, we must learn to bring down the tone of our voices when doing so, you wouldn't want the entire office to be involved in your conversation as it is in the character of some of us who can't keep a low tone. A good communication skill in a business environment is regarded as a soft skill necessary for one to interact and navigate harmoniously with others, and it sure goes beyond phone calls.

    It is very necessary to acknowledge emails Wether or not it is specified by the sender for you to do so, knowing when to BC and CC is also essential as some of us still get it wrong "sometimes".
    It is very important for us to know how to make proper introductions, give a firm handshake, introduce ourselves over the phone correctly and even give/recieve a business card properly.
    Sadly, some businesses in Nigeria and some individuals still don't care about proper behavioural pattern in a work place, as long as the company is still afloat and making profit. They may get
    concerned only when it becomes a challenge with their competitors.

    In my years as a communication/PR/Etiquette consultant, I've really seen and learnt a lot and I appreciate reminders such as this writeup to bring us back on track. Kudos dear

  14. Chikito nice tips but i disagree with the first. It is impossible to pick up my work mobile when i am in meetings 7hrs out of the 7.5hrs i am at work. Back to back meetings issa bish o just send me an email. I will reply when i can😊


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