Q: Is it acceptable for me to put a phone call on speakerphone without telling the person I’m talking to?
A: The person you’re talking to may be speaking confidentially, for your ears only. Or, your conversation partner may be hard if hearing, in which case the background noise picked up by the speakerphone could make it even more difficult for him. Explain up front that you’d like to put the phone on speaker, and ask whether it’s OK with the other person. Most people won’t mind, but if you sense hesitation, explain your reasons-for example, other people in the room may need to contribute to the conversation, or you’d like to have your hands free for taking notes. Does your phone mate still seem uncomfortable? Then do respect her wishes.