We don’t really call people on the phone anymore. Much of our communication happens over text messages, emails, and the occasional voice recording. So, picking up the phone and actually having a conversation can fill even the best of us with panic and anxiety. If you hate calling people, these 5 tips are for you.

Plan ahead

Whether you’re making a business call or a personal call, take a few minutes to plan ahead. Write a script if necessary, or at least, have some pointers on hand. If you need them, great. If not, at least you’re prepared! 

Just listen

Listening is something of a lost skill, but listening can actually help you survive a phone call. When you pay attention to what the other person is saying, you have a better chance of having a thoughtful and relevant response.

Remember the relationship behind the phone call

The person you’re calling is someone you know on some level. And no matter how awkward you feel, remember that an imperfect phone call won’t make or break your relationship. 

And if you feel awkward or embarrassed, consider opening up and saying that. Chances are, the person on the other end feels the same way. 

Questions are always an option

Remember, people usually enjoy talking about themselves. So, if you’re not sure what to say, or you want to avoid an awkward silence, just ask a question.

Stop procrastinating

The longer you wait to pick up the phone, the harder it is to call someone. If you’re nervous or anxious, take a couple minutes to breathe deeply, plan your notes and dial that number. 

Talking on the phone is like any other skill: the more you do it, the better you become.  

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