Manner Monday®: Tech Etiquette

Wearable Tech and Cell Phones

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This past week, during one of the Executive Success Series sessions, we were talking Tech Etiquette and discussing how difficult it is to manage technology and expectations.  I promised the group I would share some tips in today’s Manner Monday.  We spent quite a bit of time on the topic and had a great conversation, I’m hoping you find the information helpful as well.

Mooning is making a comeback!


Noooooo… it’s not what you’re thinking.  Mooning is the new tech lingo for placing your wearable tech or smartphone in its ‘do not disturb’ mode.  The nickname comes from the ‘moon’ icon that shows once you’ve switched to DND mode.  Personally, I’m trying to make it a habit, to switch into moon mode prior to walking into a meeting.  It helps me focus on the other person and it keeps the distractions from my devices from interrupting; allowing me to give 100% of my attention to the other person.

This Q tackles the awkward cold call when you’re calling someone’s cell phone for the first time.
Q: “My mom always taught me to say this when I call people, “Hello, may I please speak with Jane?”  Given that cell phones belong to one person, rather than a household, what it the best way to address someone you are calling?  I’m not referring to a friend or acquaintance, but rather a situation when you “cold call” someone.  This has actually come up several times in the context of the community volunteer group I lead.  When I ask, ‘Hello, may I please speak with Jane?’, I always detect some trepidation, as if the person is thinking, ‘Well, who do you think this is? You called my cell phone after all!’ I would love your advice!” – Thank you, Sara

A: You’re right, often the ‘old-school’ rule seems a bit awkward with technology advancements. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m navigating the rules of new technology – I feel like ‘Maxwell Smart’ from the old TV Show, ‘Get Smart’ who was known for talking on his ‘shoe phone’. But there are a few ‘old-school’ rules though that still apply such as the 9-9 rule; don’t make calls (or send texts) before 9am or after 9pm.

Click to Tweet:  Do you feel like Maxwell Smart when making a cold call to someone’s cell phone? #MannerMonday

When I find myself making that awkward call to someone’s cell phone, I usually say, “Sara? (allowing them to confirm), Hi this is Carey Sue Vega; I’m calling in reference to…. Is this a good time?”

When someone calls my cell, and I’m not sure who it is, I answer with a perky ‘Carey Sue speaking’, which let’s the other person know they’ve correctly reached me and can then introduce herself and get the dialogue started.

Here are some tips to make phone calls in general a bit more smoothly:

Tone of voice: Without people being able to see your face and facial expressions, they will draw conclusions about your trustworthiness, reliability and confidence solely from how you sound. Your tone of voice is the only thing they have to draw on for your first impression.

  • Don’t talk too fast, or too slow
  • Don’t talk too loud, or to quiet
  • Smile while you’re talking (I know it sounds cheesy, but it makes a difference)

Background noise: Make sure you’re out of the wind, turn down the radio or TV, and keep distractions to a minimum. Focus on the phone call as if you were talking to that person face-to-face. And definitely don’t eat or drink while you’re on the phone – those noises are amplified and you’ll sound like the cookie monster to the person on the other end of the line.

And here’s a recent article for more tips on cell phone etiquette.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you. My goal is to help students to feel more comfortable and confident in the social and professional skills; do you know someone who would enjoy this post?  If so, please share it and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!

And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Thanks for reading!
Carey Sue

In other news….

Registration for the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program is open:  Click Here to access more information and to access the Passport (9-12th Grade) Program registration online.

The Interview Intensive for 10-12th graders STARTS THIS WEEK:  Click here for dates and registration information.

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation? I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, Click Here to access the Business Section of the website.  Or please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • Dude you’re Rude! Interoffice civility awareness and team building
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress
  • Trade Show Booth Training

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:

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