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Whether through our participants or an online community, we often hear the question: “How can I get better at talking on the phone?”
We understand that making phone calls, especially for prospective job opportunities, can be a situation that brings out anxiety. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety on the phone, read through our expert advice on how to overcome this feeling, brought to you by resident psychologist Carolyn Mounce.
Nerves come with uncertainty about how a call might go. While the success of a call is hard to control, you can control the steps you take leading up to one. Try setting up your desk with a glass of water or a notepad and pen. Take two deep breaths before each call. Test out what helps you get in the zone, and then stick to it. This will help to set you up for success.
While perfect is an impossible goal, practice is within your means and offers a path to improvement. Find safe opportunities to practice phone conversations and ask for feedback where appropriate, and you’ll start to see improvement.
When we get nervous, it’s easy to focus too much on ourselves. Instead, focus on listening to others and directing your attention to what they’re saying. The more you can shift your focus to the other person in a conversation, the less you will eventually notice your nerves.
It’s easy to overestimate how scary a situation might be, and it becomes tempting to avoid it. The trouble is – that won’t help you get better. Sometimes the best approach is to take a deep breath, and then take that leap of faith. The more you become used to the experience of speaking on the phone, the less scary it will feel.
It’s not always about the big steps, but instead taking small active steps to grow. Sometimes the best approach can be to focus on achieving one small goal in learning to become more comfortable on the phone. When you start collecting little wins, such as answering an unknown phone number, replying to an email or booking an interview, they eventually add up to a big win, like acing a phone interview. And above all, be gentle with yourself – making a call when you are nervous is something to be rewarded!
Here’s some final advice, direct from our Jobedge expert, Carolyn Mounce:
“Making phone calls is becoming less important in the corporate world, where companies rely on email and online chat more than ever. Don’t let your nerves hold you back from applying for a job you want.”
Our Jobedge Mentors are experts when it comes to reaching your job goals and helping you realise your full potential.
As an organisation, Jobedge aims to Progress Together. We are committed to collaborative and inclusive discussions with all job seekers, our stakeholders, our local South Australian Community and at every level inside our organisation.
If you’re looking for advice and support in overcoming your phone anxiety in an interview or at work, get in touch with us today.