Tips for a Better Phone Presence
These days, many of us work globally with teams split up across continents and time zones. More often than not, important conversations take place over the phone. Here are some tips to keep you energized and fully present on your next call.
Picture this: You’re on a phone meeting with a team member who is talking away about something that, frankly, you lost track of five minutes ago. At this point you’re gazing out the window, totally transfixed by a guy making his third attempt to back into what is clearly a huge parking spot. An email pops up on your screen. You know you shouldn’t but you reach for the mouse (just for a quick scan) and suddenly you hear, “So that about sums it up—what do you think?”
We’ve all been there. These days, many of us work globally with teams split up across continents and time zones. More often than not, important conversations take place over the phone. Here are some tips to keep you energized and fully present on your next call:
Before the call
Focus and put aside distractions. Close your email and any non-meeting related browser windows. Be prepared to let the person with whom you are talking feel that you are really there and not only half available.
Take a moment to breathe. Get grounded before picking up the phone—this can act as a reset button for your brain. Try taking five deep breaths before you dial in.
During the call
Consider standing or walking around if you feel your concentration or energy slipping. Sometimes just the change in physical posture or movement can bring energy into your conversation. Don’t let your seated position at your desk lock you into a low-key and low-energy conversation.
Determine what you want to get out of the call and match your energy and vocal tones to this “passionate purpose.” If you want to build a relationship for instance, try smiling while you speak. It’s amazing how much you can sense engagement—or lack thereof—over the phone.
What are your hot tips for staying fully present during phone conversations?
This blog was originally published January 1, 2011 and was updated December 13, 2017 for accuracy.