Overcoming phone phobia(9 Posts)
I've been freelance for a few years and have always had a problem with making phone calls to clients (and even to friends). I have to really psych myself up to do it.
Having worked in a very quiet, open plan communal workspace where I never use my phone, I've just started a contract in an office. It's a tiny room with 5-8 other colleagues, and as part of the role I'll have to make calls regularly.
Please help me. I feel positively phobic now about using the phone in company. Am I alone? If you have had similar problems please share how you overcame them...
Having worked in a call centre, I find the saying 'feel the fear and do it anyway' works. Once you have made a few calls, you get more and more used to it and the fear lessens. it's like exposure therapy.
What is it that scares you about using the phone or makes you panic?
Someone told me never to put the phone down between calls, so save them up and do them together. I think quite a few people suffer from this, I've met a few lately.
Have you done the think about smiling whilst on the phone so you sound more confident? I used to prefer a mobile in that sort of environment so that I could take myself off somewhere quiet, ostensibly to stop me disturbing others but really so I wouldn't feel so self-conscious.
I guess I worry about sounding stupid or about people listening to my conversations. I panic about having difficult discussions within earshot of others, or not feeling able to 'be myself' (whatever that is) on the phone.
I can't use my mobile for this new role, very much desk-based, but I never used to be so self-conscious. Where has my confidence gone? I so want to get it back.
Thanks so much for your suggestions lubey and TheMitfordsMaid. I know I have to just put my big pants on and get on with it
OK so it is all confidence, that's a good thing as confidence can be faked.
I have taught telephony techniques and trained loads of people who never thought they would be able to work on a phone line.
If you can manage to sound like you know what you are talking about you will always remain in control of the call. Even if you haven't got a clue what you are talking about or suddenly feel brain dead you just keep on acting, everyone will be amazed by your confidence and from that real confidence will come.
Yes I know sounds so easy, I would be happy to help if you want. Where abouts are you?
Sorry I should have added I was the same, very phone phobic... until the job there. It really was great therapy for me having the calls as a vital part of my job. It has totally cured me. Once you've psyched yourself up for the first one it just flows getting easier every time.
Jaqueline, I would love some tips to get me started - thank you so much.
I feel really pathetic for posting about this and I greatly appreciate all the reassuring advice here.
A really silly one - that works - standing up when making calls makes you sound much more authoritative (to do with lung capacity)
if you are in a shared office : best done in a corridor - or is there a meeting room you can use
also SMILE - smiling as you talk changes your voice significantly
my real problem is that I interrupt people
so I ALWAYS have a game of freecell running to distract part of my brain to slow down to the other person's speed
confuses a few people that I'm quite open about it
but I'm good at what I do so they learn not to care!
if its a tricky call, scribble down notes, questions you need to ask and questions you want answered on a sheet of paper and work through it during the conversation - then you are in control of the conversation
when I did credit control I got in the habit of start time, exact number, name of EVERY person I spoke to, what they said, end time
"Sorry I did not catch your surname" even if they never gave it in the first place
or if they mumbled it - "is that spelt with a Y?" and they will spell out clearly
when you/they call the next time, you are instantly in control with the facts at your fingertips
scares the crap out of most men. excellent
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