Sudden Death: Speaking On The Phone

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on April 22, 2015

Everywhere we turn these days, someone is on their phone.  We text, send emails, check social media, read the news or anything with a “goof off” factor.

Hey, our smart phones are entertaining and everyone enjoys a little bit of entertainment.

However I am finding a more troubling trend in that most people do not want to “speak” on their phone.  And it’s not just a generation thing.

In the business world, texting and emailing are wonderful communication skills however it seems as that having an actual dialogue with some on the phone is so yesterday. Or just bothersome.

Busy executives have their phone calls per-screened in case of someone selling something or calling to “waste their time.”  And of course there have always been people who just do not like speaking on the phone due to shyness or awkwardness and many other reasons.

But in business I think speaking on the phone is essential in most cases.  Having a real conversation and listening to the tone of the other person’s voice is vital in communicating.

Isn’t it wonderful to hear someone laugh or even “smile” on the phone?  When you call a client or a business partner to share information the inflection of your voice (and theirs) are very important to your relationship. Speaking on the phone offers innuendo and irony that a text can not replace.

Asking a question and pausing on the phone for a reply can offer so much information that an email just cannot.

I admit that I text during the day (on my personal cell) but the reality is that I work in an office using a land line phone.  When I am recruiting and I receive a resume (by email) usually an applicant’s cell phone is listed on the resume.

I then call an applicant on their cell phone and most of the time I have to leave a voice message because (of course) people are busy.

But often I will receive an email back from that same applicant suggesting that we email because it is easier.  Easier?

No way.

I want to make a connection and hear the other person’s voice.  I have many questions to ask that would take forever if we had to send emails back and forth.

This happens more and more these days and I find it troubling.  Do you?

Speaking on the phone appears to be in hospice with a morphine drip connected to lesson the pain.

OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but speaking on the phone is still as vital as ever and if you are texting rather than speaking you just might be losing out.

Alexander Graham Bell is rolling over, if you know what I mean.

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