Call Etiquette


You've just joined a business incident call, and you've never been on one before. You have no idea what's going on, or what you're supposed to be doing. This page will help you through your first time on a business incident call, and will provide a reference for future calls you may be a part of.

First Steps#

  • If you intend on participating on the incident call you should join both the call and chat (e.g. Slack).
  • Make sure you are in a quiet environment in order to participate on the call. Background noise should be kept to a minimum.
  • Keep your microphone muted until you have something to say.
  • Identify yourself when you join the call; state your name and the role you are here to fill.
  • Speak up and speak clearly.
  • Be direct and factual.
  • Keep conversations/discussions short and to the point.
  • Bring any concerns to the Business Lead on the call.
  • Respect time constraints given by the Business Lead.
  • Use clear terminology, and avoid using acronyms or abbreviations during a call. Clear and accurate communication is more important than quick communication.


You don't need a special set of lingo to participate in a business response call. However, acknowledgement of requests and verification of understanding are paramount for good communication. These are useful terms to have in your arsenal to ensure good communication.

  • Say Again - "Repeat your last message"
  • Standby - "Please wait a moment for the next response"
  • Acknowledged - "I have received and understood"
  • Will do - "I have received and understood your request and will comply"

The Commander#

The Business Lead is the leader of the business incident response process and is responsible for bringing the incident to resolution. They will announce themselves at the start of the call, and will generally be doing most of the talking.

  • Follow all instructions from the business lead, without exception.
  • Do not perform any actions unless the business lead has requested you do so.
  • The business lead will typically poll for any strong objections before performing a large action. That is your time to raise any objections if you have them.
  • Once the business lead has made a decision, that decision is final and should be followed--even if you disagreed during the poll.
  • Answer any questions the business lead asks you in a clear and concise way.
  • Answering that you "don't know" something is perfectly acceptable. Do not try to guess.
  • The business lead may ask you to investigate something and get back to them in X minutes. Make sure you are ready with an answer within that time.
  • Answering that you need more time is perfectly acceptable, but you need to give the business lead an estimate of how much time.


There's no business lead on the call! I don't know what to do!#

Ask on the call if a business lead is present. If you have no response, type !bizlead page in Slack. This will page the primary and backup business lead to the call.

I can join the call or Slack, but not both, what should I do?#

You're welcome to join only one of the channels, however you should not actively participate in the incident response if so, as it causes disjointed communication. Liaise with someone who is both in Slack and on the call to provide any input you may have so that they can raise it.