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Blog - Are your people terrified of the phone? by Tracy Powley

Are your people terrified of the phone? by Tracy Powley

Posted by Debbie Stanfield 07/02/14

PhoneA recent survey by Jurys Inn Hotels and Cross country trains found that 5% of the generation Y people they surveyed were “terrified” of picking up the phone. And a massive 40% in the youngest age group said that communicating by phone made them nervous.

This cannot be good for business! While the social media and email dominated world they have all grown up in has many benefits, there are numerous downsides.

Productive relationships are built through people talking to each other – not texting or emailing – but engaging in actual conversation, be it on the phone or face to face.

Being nervous about using the phone leads to an overdependence on email; people often hide behind it with 2 potentially dire consequences...

  • email and text can be so easily misconstrued without the tone or body language to accompany them (and don’t be fooled into thinking that sticking a smiley emoticon at the end of the sentence makes your  slightly sarcastic comment OK)
  • opportunities for ideas to form and creative solutions to surface through discussion are lost

So much of the work we do around helping people and organisations to repair working relationships that have broken down can be traced back to a misunderstanding as a result of email “conversations”. Once the relationship has faltered, there is often a continued reluctance to actually talk to each other... email allows both parties to communicate without having to face each other and of course, things just get worse. Our solution is always to find a (safe) way to get people talking again. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it is amazing how rife these issues are in the workplace.

All employees should be encouraged and supported to use a mix of communication channels – and to know when each is appropriate.

We should really be focussing on ensuring our people are confident about talking to each other – with customers, colleagues and team members.

For more guidance on getting working relationships back on track click here or help your team communicate more effectively

Debbie Stanfield
Debbie Stanfield

I joined Stella and Tracy at Focal Point in 2003 and have seen both the Company and my role evolve during this time. I now work closely with the management team to achieve and improve business efficiently. To re-energise myself after a day in the office, I like to go to Zumba classes in the evening!

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