Friday, August 03, 2007

What to and what not to - on a conference call !

Attending conference calls are a part of everyday agenda for an IT professional especially when the client is a thousand nautical miles away. During a conference call usually one person speaks while the rest of the team maintains pin-drop silence so that the person at the other end clearly visualizes what is being conveyed. Basic etiquette says that one has to wait till the current conversation between the two ends. As the name goes, it is usually the team lead who leads the call, based on his/her experience and interaction with the clients.

Every member in the team will have his/her own notion about the topic being discussed. It is the obvious duty of the leader to stop or pause at a level and enquire the team if anyone has queued their thoughts to be poured in. Now comes the real thought. What to ask and what not to? What will others/Manager/Leader/Client think about me? Is this a valid question? Or can i raise it a little later? Can i personally meet the leader later and clarify this doubt? Will everyone copy my idea? Will it be too much to ask this question? How to ask the question? How do I open my mouth? Is it a sin if I talk in this meeting? These are the FAQ's in most of the minds.

A meeting with the client is organized in the first place to clarify the doubts of the entire team so that there does not arise any problems in a long run. When a 'valid' doubt arises its better to shoot it out then and there rather than carrying it over your head for later clarifications.Why worrying the thought that if the others around would think you are a fool. I believe you should risk being a fool for a minute rather than remaining a fool for a lifetime! That does not directly give the credit of asking the most silliest, dumbest questions in a high level meeting. Now which is a silly question and which is not? A self-analysis would help answer this question.

According to me planning, assertiveness, time and of course a little guts projects a successful personality!

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