Talking To A Co-worker About Missed Messages?


I would like to know how you talk to a co-worker about taking proper phone messages. For example, she took a phone message that said, “Please call John!” Now the problem is I know two “John’s” and there was not a number given. This happens often and just not with me. Please tell us how to address this issue.


Missing Messages


Dear Missing Messages:

I can certainly see your point. Half a message isn’t better then none because you aren’t sure who to call or what number to call back. Are you in a small office or a larger company?

Here’s what should be a good solution. Write a friendly memo on “Effective Message Taking” or communication and list the key points to include: Who called (first and last name), What Time, Regarding What (brief message summary), Call Back Number, and any other relevant information. Make sure everyone gets the memo so there is a standard method to follow. There are even pads and notebooks that have a fill-in-the-blank format available from most office supply stores.

Once the standard is set, offer some guidance for any mistakes or omissions that occur with this employee–you’ll have something to point to now. Stress how important it is for everyone to provide complete information. That should create a clear structure and standard. The memo will help to get everyone on the same page so there is uniformity and consistency.

I hope these ideas are useful.

WEGO is working together and using communication to solve problems effectively.

Steve Carney