Is Someone Screening Your Calls?

Everyone has been in this situation: your phone starts blowing up (I use vibrate but it doesn’t matter) and you notice on the caller id that it’s a person you don’t really want to talk to. You don’t enjoy talking to this person. It’s not that he or she is a bad human being, it’s the simple fact you’d rather let it go to voice mail. Here are some of the reasons we screen our calls for certain people:

  • They are hard to connect with.
  • They only call when they need something.
  • Horrible phone skills.
  • It’s hard to say ‘no’ to them.
  • You know what they’re going to say; they are predictable. This could mean they badger you.
  • When they call they don’t have anything to say.

I’m not justifying everyone’s cold acts of not answering their phone because I think it’s poor people skills when anyone screens a call. But I do see a lot of value in improving your communication skills so fewer people screen your calls. Let’s look at the extreme opposite:

There is a much larger group of people who I love seeing on the caller id. I bet it’s the same way with you. What is it about those people? You probably connect with them. When they call they actually add value to you; you benefit from their calls. It’s almost exciting when they call, right?


  • Greeting each person personally/different.
  • Say their name.
  • Create an inside joke that you start in the first 10 seconds of each call.
  • Get straight to the point.
  • Don’t ask “what’s up” unless you actually want to know what’s up.
  • The first thing you say should either set them up for a response, or should segue right into the reason you’re calling.

Here’s the secret: Everyone has been screened- it’s impossible to connect with everyone. The real question is this: how will you begin to treat others differently to ensure you are screened less and less? Do you want to cause people to be excited when you call, or anxious?


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