Who’s afraid of the big, bad phone?
According to research, an international telecommunications provider, many American office workers are – at least while on the job. The company recently surveyed U.S. office workers about their phone skills, and nearly half reported having some reservations about making phone calls in an office environment. Their reasons included anxiety, fear of giving bad news, and miscommunication.
Interestingly, the likelihood that someone will fear the phone at work is inversely related to age. Twenty percent of workers age 16 to 24 expressed having some fear of using the phone, while only two percent of workers 55 and above felt the same way. Percentages from other age groups include:
- 25 – 34: 16%
- 35 – 44: 9%
- 45 – 54: 5%
Regardless of age, the vast majority of workers said they preferred face-to-face or email communications over using the phone.
Sounding Professional on the Phone
In today’s digital world, fear of the phone may not seem like a big deal. But the ability to communicate professionally over the phone remains one of the most direct, personal and effective means of communications. When employees hesitate to use the phone, it could cause their companies to miss opportunities and lose revenue.
People can learn how to use the phone with confidence by reading this phone guide called “How to Make the Perfect Professional Phone Call.” The guide provides many useful tips for alleviating phone anxiety and developing better phone etiquette. These include:
- Prepare for the call. Before you pick up the phone, get clear on who you’re calling and why. Then identify what you need to cover during the call and what you want the outcome to be. If necessary, prepare some notes ahead of time to guide the conversation during the call.
- Begin with a friendly, positive tone. Open the call in a friendly, interested way, introducing yourself and the purpose of the call. Take a minute to establish a personal connection before diving into the business side of the call.
- Speak with confidence. During the conversation, be concise, speak clearly and avoid repeating yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify information.
- End on a strong note. To close the call, sum up what you have covered and discuss any next steps with the person, such as a follow-up phone call or face-to-face meeting. Make sure the other person obtained the information they needed, and close with a positive goodbye.
Email and face-to-face may be the preferred communication methods for today’s office workers, but learning to sound professional on the phone will benefit your company and your career. Visit the Ideator blog page to learn more about this dying skill.