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Although many Americans are tethered to their cell phones, when given the opportunity, many opt for the non-verbal mode of communication. Whether we’re now rusty on our phone etiquette or speaking into the receiver was always just a little awkward, a lot of people simply feel uncomfortable when it comes to picking up and dialing. Lay down some stakes – such as an interview, a request for information, or a verbal follow-up thank you – and making a phone call can take a lot more courage than expected. But just relax, and read on for a few tips that might make the game of telephone just a little bit easier…
Make a Plan
One reason you’re probably terrified to make that call is because you think the dialogue is going to feel contrived; it will be filled with awkward pauses and the conversation will feel aimless. In order to avoid this feeling, plan out ahead of time what you’re going to say and what questions you’re going to ask. If you need to, write it down. You’ll often find that when you get into the swing of it, things will move along a lot more smoothly and you’ll shed your nervousness in no time.
When you reach out to someone, first make sure that you’re doing so at a good time. Before you launch into conversation, first pause to make sure that the other person is able to speak. Also, remember to be polite. The person on the other line won’t have any body language to go off of, so make sure you use good manners and speak in a friendly tone. If you smile while you are speaking, you’ll automatically add warmth to your voice. When you do this, that other person is more likely to reciprocate and the conversation will feel much more comfortable.
Don’t Overthink It
While you may have written out a plan, when it comes to picking up and dialing, don’t make it a bigger deal than it is. The longer you sit there and stare at the keypad, the more you’re going to get worked up. Just pick up the phone, dial the number, and put it to your ear.
Get Pumped Up
Before you make an important phone call, do something that will get you excited and feeling more confident. Go on a run beforehand or listen to an upbeat song that you like. This will take your mind off of things and get you feeling a little more secure about everything.
If you stand up while you’re on the phone, you’ll have more energy. Standing up allows you to breathe better, which gets more oxygen going to your brain. You can also pace around the room at will, which can also keep you more in the zone. Go by the old adage that says, “Think on your feet”!
Tell yourself that no matter how the phone call goes, you’re going to go do something fun afterward. That way, you’ll have incentive to make the call in the first place, and you’ll begin to associate making important phone calls with positive outcomes in the future.
It’s no fun waiting by the telephone for an important phone call, and it’s even less fun waiting by the telephone while you work up the courage to actually make one. Just remember to feel more confident, have a little more forethought, and brush up on your phone etiquette and you’ll be good to go!
Goodbye for now,
The Doostang Team