How to Take Telephone Messages

In the age of cell phones, telephone etiquette has largely gone by the wayside. Knowing how to take messages is still useful when you're working in an office or taking calls for someone else. Being polite, writing everything down, and delivering the message promptly are key!


  1. Image titled Take Telephone Messages Step 1
    Answer the phone. The person on the other end asks for your immediate supervisor or co-worker who is not at his/her desk. The first thing you should do is say, "He/she isn't here at the moment. Can I take a message?" Assuming they say yes continue to the next step. If they say no then the call is done. Just remember to ask if you can do anything else — they might want to call back and leave a message on the answering machine.
  2. Image titled Take Telephone Messages Step 2
    Write down everything they say. You may not think what they say is important but the person you are writing the message for might think it is. If needed ask them to repeat information.
  3. Image titled Take Telephone Messages Step 3
    Say good-bye (and "You're welcome" if it applies).
  4. Image titled Take Telephone Messages Step 4
    Give the message to the person as soon as possible or leave it somewhere they will find it.


  • Be polite.
  • Write in neat hand-writing.
  • Make sure that you don't write the wrong thing down. You wouldn't want the person who gets the message to get the wrong idea.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen/pencil
  • Paper
  • Phone

Article Info

Categories: Managing Telephone Messages