Voice Mail Etiquette


April 24, 2010

I was not going to post today but sometimes I think my blog is a good place to admit some of my shortcomings so that I stop repeating them.  Today is one of those days.  It’s been a crazy couple weeks with heavy workload, travel, training, and HRevolution planning at night.  ALL THINGS I LOVE and am happy about doing.  Truly.  The type of work I’m doing is really keeping me challenged so I love that.  The travel I’ve done has taken me to some conferences where I learned a lot and also spent some quality time with friends.  The training was at work and revolved around advanced skills in change management.  Again, something I was thrilled to participate in.  And HRevolution, the passion I have for that is not easily measured.

So, today is the first time I’m able to catch up on my Google Reader.  I’ve read some great posts and I’m commenting, sharing on Twitter and via Google Reader.  But I just read one that cut me.  Right to the bone.

It may not be written with me in mind, but it may be.  You see, my friend Jason Seiden posted this week about ‘How to Leave a Voice Mail‘.  You MUST go read it and watch his quick video. The reason it could be for me is that I am guilty.

I am guilty of leaving long, rambling voice mail messages for Jason.

I’ve done it for others.

I need to stop.

In my defense, I think I do it when I know I’ve not had the opportunity to connect with the person and I just go on and on.  Ask anyone who knows me, I do this bad habit.  It’s MY baggage.

So, now you know.  And, now I’m challenged to improve because if the next message I leave for you is long and rambling, YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO CALL ME OUT ON IT.

Do you do this too?


  • Trish, this is probably cold comfort, but you are in EXCELLENT COMPANY there in “leave long, rambly messages land.”

    I’ve been known to stay there myself for long, extended periods.

    So please, no, my post was not a veiled attempt to get you to pare down your VMs!

    When I have a specific suggestion for a specific person, I tend to have a specific conversation about that. Plus, I always have my Tuesday “This is BS!” column if I want to call someone out. 😉

    My Wed tips are really supposed to be friendly reminders to do those little things that can make a big difference.

    I’ll remember my friends and concentrate harder on the “friendly” part next time!

  • I’m guilty of leaving long voice mails but I try to justify it a few ways

    I’m a detailed person by nature

    no one likes to get a short hi this is so and so please call mr message

    I spend a lot if my day in meetings and sometimes it’s hard to connect especially considering tine zone differences so issues can be worked by voicemail

    I can speak faster and get my message across easier sometimes by leaving a voicemail rather than email

  • Thank you for the great reminder. Times I get to the “If you are satisfied with your message…” part then I know I’ve said too much and need to “erase and re-record.”

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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