I want to share with you one of the highlights of my week. Actually, let me revise that – one of the highlights of my career as The Phone Lady.
The past few years have revealed that many young people (I’ll say those under 30) do not talk on the phone. They text, interact on social media and email (although this is declining), but dialing a number and having a conversation isn’t commonplace. They’ve been criticized for this in the media (I’ve even been quoted in some of those stories) but, as I’ve said in a previous post, it isn’t because they are lazy, undisciplined or stubborn. It’s because they don’t have experience.
They haven’t grown up in a world where a phone conversation is an everyday occurrence. In fact, talking on the phone is so foreign to them, it’s intimidating. And we all stay away from things that intimidate us. When it comes to communication today, there are so many options it’s easy – for all of us – to avoid speaking on the phone.
But I believe that the value and need to be able to speak on the phone is a long, long way from disappearing. Many will argue with me and there are certainly many companies abandoning phone communication. There are lots of signs I could be wrong…but I don’t think so. Which brings me to Leslie Gallagher and her company worklocal.jobs
Leslie is a delightful, bright, energetic, young entrepreneur. I was introduced to her by my colleague Greg Poirier of CloudKettle with a request to help her get past her discomfort with talking on the phone. She and I had a brief conversation and I challenged her, as a first step, to start talking on the phone with family and friends. She looked skeptical, but agreed. After only 8 days, here’s her reaction (said with surprise and excitement):
I am really enjoying calling friends and people that I volunteer with and speaking with them on the phone instead of email or text. I’m finding it a lot more productive and also a lot of fun. It saves time and all the back and forth, the sitting down and writing emails. I really like it.
Leslie is now well into the groove of using the phone to grow her business, has acquired her first client this way, in only 10 days. How fun is that! In the weeks ahead she’s going to take over this blog and share her experiences with us.
If you are comfortable on the phone, and know someone who isn’t, don’t judge them – help them. Give them the skills and the support they need to get past their intimidation. After all, you’ve been intimidated by things in your life and someone’s helped you.
And, if you are intimidated by the phone, you are not alone. Ask for help.
On this same topic, I’m pleased to announce my participation in Get the Job You Want, presented by the flipside at Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus. I’ll be teaching these students how they can make talking on the phone both fun and productive in their job search.
Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!