may be, and information inadvertently given out in this
way could be harmful to national security. In addition, it
is discourteous to make the caller wait while you finish
your office conversation.
When you answer the phone for someone who is
absent from the office, give some facts to the person
making the call. Do not merely say, He is not in right
now. Rather, tell the caller when you expect the person
to return, or volunteer to help if you can. If you have no
information concerning the whereabouts of the person
called, ask the caller if you may take a message.
Always make sure you have a pencil and pad beside
the telephone for taking messages. This practice
eliminates needless rummaging about while the other
person is holding the line open. Also, it is worth
remembering that the message will mean little to the
person for whom it is intended unless you leave the
1. Name of the caller
2. The message
3. Time and date of the message
4. Your name
Sometimes, you may have to leave the telephone to
obtain additional information for a call. When this delay
is necessary, you should make it known to the caller. If it
takes more time to obtain the required information than
you anticipated, give the caller an occasional progress
report, such as Im sorry I did not find it there. If you do
not mind waiting, I will look elsewhere.
When making a telephone call, there are certain
rules you should observe.
1. Be sure that the number you dial is the correct
one. When you dial wrong numbers, you waste
other peoples time as well as your own.
2. When making a call to another office, identify
3. If you make the call for another person or an
officer, so inform the person at the other end of
the line. This courtesy eliminates the need for
the other party to question you in this regard.
If you make a call and are informed that the person
called is not in, ask the person answering the telephone
to take a message, if appropriate. You should make sure
that the person to whom you are speaking understands
the message, knows how to spell your name or the name
of the person for whom you are making the call, and has
your correct telephone number.
The tonal quality of your voice may or may not be
subject to improvement. But by speaking correctly and
distinctly and by speaking clearly and unhurriedly, you
should have little difficulty in making yourself
understood. Do not shout; it probably will not help and
is likely to hinder.
Some people become nervous when speaking over
the telephone. They take a deep breath, start at the
beginning of their notes, and rush through to the end, all
in the same breath. Naturally, the person at the other end
of the line cannot absorb so much information so
quickly, with the result that the whole conversation is
unintelligible. Do not race through a conversation. The
person on the other end is just as anxious to hear your
information as you are to give it, so avoid the need (and
the waste of time) of having to repeat your message.
REVIEW 4 QUESTION
Q1. You are taking a telephone message. List the four
elements that you should include when taking a
COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM (IVCS)
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Recognize the purpose of an integrated voice
communications system (IVCS).