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Improving Communication in Difficult Circumstances

The question below cites time delays but there are many other ways telephone communication can be difficult. Sore throats and colds, surprise visitors to your office, calling into a marketplace where your accent is unfamiliar, and the sounds of infants or children in the background are all disruptive. In my own office, I have a fax machine that produces a loud beep when it’s receiving. The best way I’ve found to deal with these things is mentioning the potential difficulty as soon as possible. For example: “I want to let you know that I often experience time delays on my phone equipment. I apologize and hope it doesn’t disrupt our conversation.” Or “I know my accent can be difficult for some people. Please don’t hesitate to tell me to speak slower or repeat myself if that’s what you need.” Or “My fax machine is about to make a loud noise in the background. I apologize!” What this does is a) shows your client/potential client that you are straightforward, able to take charge and accept responsibility; b) eliminates the stress associated with pretending the difficult circumstance isn’t there; c) eliminates the need for your client/potential client to raise the issue with you; and d) puts you both in a position where you can overcome the difficulty together. In the case of the time delay, you’ll end up working as a team to find the correct rhythm for your conversation – and probably end up laughing about it along the way!

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September 17 – Phone Skills for Job Search and On The Job, YWCA, Halifax, NS

September 19 – Telephone Excellence that Book Meetings and Grow Revenue, Desjardins Insurance, National, Webinar

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October 1 - Phone Skills for Job Search and On The Job, Youth Employability and Learning Lab, Musquodoboit Harbour, NS (Miriam Jobin, Facilitator)

October 1 – Telephone Skills for Today’s Busy Professionals, Desjardins Insurance, National Online Summit

October 1 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC Hants Kings, Kentville, NS

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October 7 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC NOBL, Truro, NS

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October 10 - Phone Skills for Job Search and on the Job, Phoenix Youth Programs, Halifax, NS

October 15 – How to Make Sales When You Hate Selling (part of Small Business Week), Halifax Central Library, Halifax, NS

October 17 – Talking to Your Customers, CBDC NOBL, New Glasgow, NS