It’s August!  Which can also be known as the Sunday of summer, so if you haven’t gotten in your summer activities now is your time!  August can also be considered a transition month since it is on the tail end of summer, which can be difficult.  Therefore, we’re covering difficult topics like phone conversations and wrongfully being blamed for mistakes.  So sit back, grab your pen and paper and get ready to take down these tips! You won’t want to miss out on these.


Phone conversations can be dreaded and uncomfortable for many people.  Beginning a phone conversation at work with someone you may not be familiar with can be difficult, especially since you cannot see how they’re reacting to what you’re saying.  That’s why we put together five easy ways to begin a phone conversation.  They may seem simple, but that’s what makes them so easy to execute.  Check them out!

Start with Today

When starting most conversations, we default to saying “how are you”. However, by adding just one or two words onto this default question, it can come across as meaningful.  Examples can include, but are not limited to:

“How are you doing today?”

“How is your day unfolding so far?”

“Anything new happening today?”

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to take a conversation from awkward to natural.  By narrowing the scope of the question, you’re more likely to get an engaged answer.

Get Trendy

Rather than jumping into the purpose of your call, mention an industry news trend.  However, this should not be a random trend that you’ve noticed, it should be relevant to the both of you.  This can be seen as valuable and beneficial for you as well as the person on the other line.  It can help complete your agenda in a more efficient way if it’s relevant, if not it can be seen as a waste of time.

Be Curious, Not Judgmental 

You can’t go wrong when asking about someone’s work!  Odds are it’s a common ground for both parties so it’s not awkward to talk about.  It also gives both of you time to reflect on what you’re actually doing in your professional life.  Work can be crazy and hectic and may not always allow you the time you need to actually process what’s going on around you.

Common Ground is Found When You Choose to Listen

The company is common ground that you both share.  Therefore, finding updates on the company or company recommendations would be genuine conversation that can also be informational for both sides.  Follow the company on social networks for inspiration and feel free to discuss with others as well.

Keep Calm and Be Practical

Keep it practical! Stick to the basics and don’t go in for an in-depth conversation because that can get uncomfortable for both parties.  If it can be a simple, everyday conversation then that is what you should shoot for.  Keep it brief but not too brief to the point where it’s awkward.  Therefore, it should be simple but enough to show that you still care.

It’s Not My Fault!

When you make a mistake due to misinformation you may want to say “it’s not my fault”.  However, it may come across as if you’re not taking the blame or trying to push it on someone else.  This isn’t the image anyone wants in the office, but sometimes your mistake genuinely isn’t your fault.  Therefore, we put together three alternate ways to say “it’s not my fault” to keep you from looking unprofessional and immature.

“I Wasn’t Aware of That”

By saying “I wasn’t aware of that” is a simple way of saying “it’s not my fault”, minus the immaturity.  You can use this when you make the mistake, but only because you didn’t have all the proper information.  If you didn’t know something, then the entire case is a learning process.  Of course, it’s always good to ask clarifying questions but you may not always get that opportunity.  You can learn from what you didn’t know before and prepare for the future.

“I Did it that Way Because…”

Explaining yourself is also another way of saying “it’s not my fault”.  There could be a miscommunication or even a misunderstanding when initially gathering information.  It is best to use this when the person blaming you is missing the context behind your decisions as it allows you to explain your reasoning and fill in any missing pieces.

“Can We Call a Meeting About This?”

In situations where you’re being blamed for something you didn’t do, it’s best to try calling a team meeting.  The trickiest situation to handle is undoubtedly being wrongly accused of doing something.  You don’t want to push it off onto someone else and avoid responsibility, but you also don’t want to claim responsibility for something you didn’t do.  If the situation is minor, just own up to it and an apology should suffice.  However, if it is a larger situation, there’s no harm in calling a team meeting for further clarification and explanation.