The Sound of Insincerity

All of us rely on each of our senses to provide us with data, information that helps us make decisions and allows us to communicate effectively with others. It is logical that when one of our senses is unavailable to us, we feel disoriented and even frightened. Hence the existence of the primary reason people fear the phone – lack of sight.

When we speak with someone in person, at a meeting or networking, our sight provides us with a wealth of information about their attentiveness, their acceptance, their interest. Creating this same conversation “blind” can seem like an impossible task.

But it’s not. What we must do is allow our hearing to provide us with details we would otherwise see.

Demonstrating this is not easy, but I’ve been collecting examples to share. This first one relates to insincerity.

Most of us have a visual clue we use to identify when someone is being insincere. Perhaps it is that they break eye contact, or they smile too much, or they laugh inappropriately. (Now these can all be signs of nervousness too, so it is about the specific situation.) But when we are face-to-face with someone and they are being insincere, most of us, even though we aren’t always aware of it, will “see” the signs.

On the phone, insincerity can be heard. When you are speaking to someone who is genuinely interested in you – working with you, helping you, perhaps even being your friend – the majority of their conversation will be about you, not themselves.

Here’s the example: As The Phone Lady has grown I’ve received numerous offers from individuals and organizations to collaborate on a wide-variety of projects – everything from creating new workshops to writing books to starting new companies. I’m blessed to have all these opportunities come my way and I believe my success depends on giving them my due consideration, however … .

Many, many times these opportunities are presented without any mention of me. The conversation is filled to brimming with their current level of success, their plans for the future and how I can help them with these plans and increase their revenue. Really?

One recent offer actually ended with a request that, because of their busy, successful schedule, I write up a proposal of how we could begin working together and send it along soon. Really?

Insincerity can be heard. It is present in self-congratulatory and pompous language, in the “I”m too busy for this conversation” rush of words and in the exclusion of you as the main topic.

What about you? How do you “hear” insincerity?

Best wishes for a week of great PhoneWork!


 Interested in Learning More from The Phone Lady? Here’s some options: 

Wednesday October 2 – Halifax – Exceed Your Quota: Get More Appointments; Close More Sales! 

Presented in conjunction with Peter Skakum, Tangent Strategies , this workshop focuses on the skills you need to pick up the phone and book appointments as well as how to create meetings that result in new customers. Full details, pdf descriptions, testimonials and registration can all be found here: Register early for a $100 saving.

October 16, 23 and 30 – Halifax – PhoneWork: The Art (and Science) of Effective Telephone Communication

At NSCC, Institute of Technology Campus, 6 to 9 pm Wednesday evenings

From telephone interviews to conference calls, from customer service to market research, from booking appointments to closing sales, the telephone is an essential business tool. Using it effectively requires specific listening, interviewing and speaking skills. Regardless if you are a business owner, an employee, or someone looking for a new job, this course provides you with everything you need to banish phone fear and become phone fabulous!

All the information, including registration, is here:



0 thoughts on “The Sound of Insincerity”

  1. The lack of visual clues is definitely one of my challenges. I’ll suggest an in-person meeting when a phone call would likely do – especially if it’s someone I haven’t met before. Certainly not as efficient and it doesn’t work with clients from afar!

    • The majority of people I work with share this challenge with you, Linda. I’m aiming to find concise examples of other audio clues that everyone can use to help them with this aspect of phone communication. Thanks so much for sharing!


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What's The Phone Lady doing?


  • Remote learning experiences + one-on-one coaching for women entrepreneurs (More info about this three-year program here.)
  • Team and individual coaching with a national moving company to refine their sales process
  • Remote half-day training for provincial tourism representatives
  • Remote seven-part sales training program for US-based SaaS
  • Remote webinar on accounts receivable communication for industrial-services company
  • Remote webinar on validation to college students in entrepreneur program
  • In-person workshop on job search skills for women in the trades
  • Remote half-day webinar on written correspondence to customers

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.