We live in a world, where everyone is busy all the time. It is impossible to answer every phone call that comes. It’s expected that you’ll miss some calls. Here’s a better way to miss the calls:
If you’re near the phone when it rings, don’t silence the call. Cancel it. Press the red button. Don’t let it ring the full length. Show the courtesy of telling your caller that you are busy.
If you don’t answer the call and let it ring, it wastes the caller’s time. It gives him/her no idea whether you’re busy or the phone is on silent or the phone is away or if something bad has happened. It leaves too much ambiguity.
It takes the same amount of time to silence a phone as it takes to cancel. Do the courteous thing. Do the right thing.