I recently had an experience that got me thinking about what messages we unconsciously send to other people. I had received a voicemail letting me know that an order I had placed was ready for pick up. When I arrived, I went to the desk, gave my name and said that I was there to pick up my order. The guy behind the counter grinned at me really big and told me that he was the one that had called and left a message for me. Then he went on to tell me that I had the friendliest outgoing voicemail message that he had ever heard. He kind of blushed and said that it made him want to leave an equally upbeat message for me. He said that it just lifted up his spirits. Personally, I don’t think my outgoing voicemail message is all that special but it was a great feeling knowing that it had lifted his spirits.
It’s a little thing when you think about it but it has such a large impact. A happy voice is pleasant to encounter. I also had the recent experience of calling someone and encountering her painfully negative voicemail message. It was almost like “Why are you bothering me? Leave a message.” The person leaving said message was obviously annoyed when she recorded her outgoing voicemail message. You could hear it loud and clear. I don’t know this person very well but her voicemail wasn’t exactly inviting. I wondered if she’s always like that or was just having a really bad day when she decided to record her outgoing message.
It’s funny because I remember one of the first things my mom told me after I split up with my ex-husband and began to rediscover joy in my life. She said, “You have to record a new outgoing message on your phone.” I hadn’t realized anything was wrong with it so I gave it a listen. I was shocked at how it sounded. It totally gave away my frame of mind and the unhappiness that had been in my life. I know I must have listened to the message before I saved it. Perhaps that was the best I thought I could do at that time in my life.
It’s a little thing all right but you never know how you may be able to put a smile on someone’s face with just a few words. Give your outgoing voicemail a listen and if you think it’s sad or angry, put a smile on your face and try again. Your voice may be the one thing in someone’s day that lifts him or her up and inspires a smile.