Of course I'm not talking about a phone call to your friends or family, that's easy enough. I'm talking about the gnawing feeling we get in our guts when the boss comes in and says we need to make a phone call to an important person to get important information.
I'm just as guilty as anyone else. I have always been uncomfortable making phone calls. Being raised on technology like AOL Instant Messenger, texting and email has created a barrier for us that is sometimes pretty hard to get past. I wouldn't say that I'm completely comfortable making phone calls now, but I am definitely not as afraid to pick up the phone as I once was. Here are some suggestions I have if you are hesitant about making phone calls, professional or not:
- Write down what you're going to say. This will help you from adding "um" and "like" and you will sound more professional. It will also make the conversation go faster since you already know what you intend to tell them.
- Remember, they don't know you. Chances are, you're never going to see the person you're calling. They don't know who you are so even if you mess up or say the wrong thing, it's going to be okay.
- Get the facts first. Make sure you're prepared for any questions they might ask you before you pick up the phone. Have your callback information and your boss's on-hand in case you have to leave a voicemail.
Being comfortable making phone calls is something nearly every interviewer looks for in a job applicant. An ability to do this will put you ahead of your other Gen Y competition that are still clinging to texting and emailing.
Do you have any tips for mastering the art of a phone call? Let us know!