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Lawyers among worst for phone etiquette

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Irritating habits include eating and drinking or interrupting those speaking, research finds

It would seem good communication is a must-have skill for the vast majority of lawyers. Yet, new research reveals they are among some of the worst when it comes to over the phone dealings.

A whopping 82% of lawyers (that’s one in four of those surveyed) admitted to demonstrating bad manners while on the blower. Although they’re worse than doctors, nurses and dentists (81%), and accounts (77%), lawyers are not as bad as those in marketing and PR (85%) or HR (87%), the industry which topped the survey of over 2,000 UK workers for the worst phone manners in the UK.

The study, carried out by research agency The Leadership Factor, revealed some further interesting findings.

The telephone no no’s lawyers admit to being guilty of include putting people on speakerphone, while being distracted with other tasks, and eating or drinking whilst on the phone, with 18% (one in five) ‘fessing up to these bad habits. Fourteen percent admitted the tendency to interrupt is their worst mannerism.

The survey also revealed the top five telephone habits that lawyers find most irritating. They are being put on hold (50%), having a conversation with another person in the background (46%), being interrupted while speaking (41%), being put on speakerphone (32%), and loud music playing in the background (32%).

Commenting on the research, Mark Pearcy, head of marketing at 4Com, the telecommunications firm that commissioned the research, said:

“While texts, emails, social media, and all other forms of communication all have their benefits, speaking on the phone is perhaps most effective at passing on your message. As they allow you to hear the speaker’s tone of voice, phone calls help to avoid, for example, the risk of innocent phrases sounding passive aggressive, jokes being taken the wrong way, or sarcasm interpreted as serious thoughts.”

He added: “Hopefully this research will help people realise their phone habits can be considered rude and make chatting on the phone smooth sailing for people who work in the legal industry.”

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23 Comments

Anonymous

Lawyers are psychos non-shocka

Anonymous

If someone does not like me they can go elsewhere. I’ve enough work not to pander to snowflakes.

Anonymous

Ooh you’re hard.

Anonymous

Yeah I know. I could take you.

Anonymous

Great customer service right there! 👍

Anonymous

This is such flaming horsecock

Anonymous

My skills on the blower are second to none.

JDP

My office, 10.00am sharp.

Anonymous

They are the worst! As a “client” calling a lawyer they never say “hello” its literally an awkward silence until i say, hello?! They have no understanding of how to start a convo lol

Anonymous

I would never want to accept as a client someone who used the term “convo”. Or “lol” for that matter.

Anonymous

Well don’t take my money then haha

Times Up

When I volunteered at a legal charity, I heard plenty of tribunal volunteers being screamed at down the phone by staff in the open plan office.

Phrases including “No, you cannot have any reasonable adjustments!” and “I am sending a courier with a motorcycle over to your home RIGHT NOW!!! You had better be in!”

My sympathies to all who have been bullied or harassed in pursuit of trying to improve their CV for pupillage and TC applications. I haven’t heard anything anywhere near as bad as that at my firm. I actually try to go out of my way to speak calmly and respectfully to others.

Anonymous

I often eat lunch while on calls due to clients demanding every minute of my day or scheduling 3 hour calls over lunch. Can’t have it both ways.

Anonymous

My phone etiquette is spot bloody one, F**ktard [slams phone down].

Anonymous

Lawyers are among the worst for etiquette full stop.

A lawyer

That’s not true you prick.

Anonymous

82 % is 1 in 4 surveyed, 18% is 1 in 5 surveyed?

Anonymous

I think the reality of the situation is this:

Pick up the phone and start off well. The other side or anyone else start to deflate your mood. You end up getting more and more frustrated and the situation goes down hill.

OR

You call HMRC with all guns blazing because they are not real humans, and if you give them wrong digit of your client’s postcode they refuse to tell you exactly what’s wrong, and then just won’t speak to you.

Phionah

So what is ur game plan after the survey? reach out to the period.

Anonymous

Clients feel they can call you at any time of the day or night and expect you to know their case and be ready to talk about it immediately.

I have had clients phone me while I’m on my feet in court, called them back at the lunch break and they have been incensed that it has taken so long for me to call back.

I think some clients think they are the only client.

The tech has a lot to answer for.

Anonymous

With clients like that I bill hard, don’t let the debt run up, take my time with returning calls and hope they go away. Life is too short to work for clients that are jerks.

Anonymous

He who pays the piper calls the tuna.

If you won’t give the level of service paid for, including answering the phone to discuss the case in the middle of the night, someone else will.

Anonymous

Because you imagined it, fuck face.

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