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Drop the Call

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 173

Talking on the phone is the worst possible method. First, you must keep a device next to your head at all times. Now, some "phone pros" purchase the expensive earpiece that allows hands-free calling. I can almost see the appeal. But I have one question: have you ever had something in your ear for any length of time? How was that? Cotton ball? Earbuds? Ear plugs? Was that a pleasant experience? Right. It isn't. You want whatever it is out as soon as possible.

Secondly, talking on the phone requires constant dialogue. In person or online, you can take breaks, you can pause, you can leave the area and return without a lot of issues. But dead silence on the phone? Wow! What's wrong? Are you still there? So how 'bout those Yankees? While you hold this now-hot (and possibly sweaty) device next to your face you must also be ready with a constant flow of conversation.

To add insult to injury, you must now determine when the other person has stopped their train of thought, so as not to interrupt them. While you have no body language advantage while texting or emailing, making for the occasional misunderstanding, you also have no body language on the phone. You, therefore, interrupt your caller without fail or they interrupt you---which inevitably results in a manners-contest of, "No! You go ahead." And "Oh no---you first," or "No, no what were YOU going to say?" and so on.

So, just to recap: no interrupting, but also no silence. Are you following me so far?

In the world of text, email, chat, or social media, one has the supreme advantage of being able to edit before sending a comment. While typing may not be your thing, being able to delete your insensitive comment or bad joke is undoubtedly invaluable to even the hunt-and-peck crowd.

Now consider things like going to the bathroom (can't do that on the phone, though it's acceptable when you are face-to-face to excuse yourself and take care of biological needs), talking to other people in your area, stretching, keeping your eye on the TV, dealing with chores, etc. All are possible WHILE you communicate online. No one wonders why your response isn't immediate... or if the response never comes... we know something in your life took you away. Perfectly okay. For those with an extra strong need to be polite, you simply put "brb" (be right back) or "otp" (on the phone) or whatever has taken you away indicating you will resume the conversation when, and if, you are ready.

Unlike the phone (and face to face), communicating with others via text also has the advantage of a written record. Invaluable for business transactions, this is also a terrific tool for personal relationships. You can go back and re-read a misunderstanding and see it with different eyes or ask for clarification and send their very words back to them. You can miss someone and simply pull up your last email exchange or chat, and be there once again. No need to get a hand cramp writing a letter, finding a stamp and a post office to send your words to another. You can be in Australia and you can talk via text for free---in real time---with someone in the United States right this minute. That's amazing. I don't care how slow you type.

So, in conclusion, for the friends and family that know I dislike the phone, and for my customers who see that I have switched my phone coaching business to an email format (though still handling workshops face-to-face---but never via conference call), I am giving you my full reasoning for this choice. While I'm pretty sure this will not change many of your minds about picking up the phone and calling someone when other options are available, at the very least, I hope this allows you to see why I am not and never will be regularly calling you to catch up.

If you have a counter-argument to my position, and find my view anti-social or strange in any way, I am open to that and would love to hear your reasoning.

Just call me.

See Stephanie's site Work Stress Solutions for more information like this.

Stephanie Goddard (Davidson) is considered a subject matter expert in workplace communications and specializes in leadership and interpersonal skills training.

Frequently appearing as a guest on radio programs and published in numerous articles on workplace communications, Stephanie is also a nationally certified trainer for Coveys Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; DDI programs; Ridges People Skills for Managers and Individual Contributors; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; FranklinCoveys Project Management and master certified in Achieve Globas Management Programs; as well as an instructor with the American Management Association.

Go to her website for even more articles at

Source: EzineArticles
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