I have to be honest, I don’t like talking on the phone. I don’t! At all!
9 times out of 10, I won’t answer when it rings (unless it’s my wife; always answer your wife). This is horrible, I know. What if I miss something important? Eh, they can text me.
I know, I know. This is cold and impersonal. How can someone, who wants to be an influential catalyst in the lives of others, not see that this distaste for phone conversation is counterproductive.
In fact, am I deteriorating relationships? Instead of building a tribe, am I alienating the voices that can be my greatest allies?
It’s time to break the habit. This is my habit, my problem, but if you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably yours too.
Somewhere along the line, we decided that actually answering the call was inconvenient. “Oh, I’m too busy to talk to that person right now.” Our battle cry is always, “I’m too busy!”
What the person calling hears is, “I’m not really important.”
Sorry, it had to be said.
So, here’s what we’ll do. I’ll commit to these 3 steps, and I hope you will too.
Step 1: Answer every phone call. It’s okay if you let the occasional call go to voicemail. Don’t stop in the middle of a meeting to answer that call from your Mom. She’ll understand. Better, yet, why are you taking your phone into meetings anyway? (personal pet peeve).
Step 2: Return calls as soon as possible. So, a friend wants to talk to you about the bad day they had. Call them back… tell them to meet you for coffee and connect face-to-face. Not only does this get you off the phone, it shows your friend that you care about them enough to build a relationship.
Step 3: Always remember Step 3. You can’t influence people you don’t talk to. Eventually the relationship will disappear. All great leaders influence the people around them. How far do you want your influence to reach?
We live in a society where we can touch the lives of unlimited masses. Social media is worldwide and our voices can be heard on any number of computers, smartphones, or tablets.
Let’s start by inspiring those people we trust to give our phone numbers too. Let’s show them how important they truly are. Can you imagine the impact you can have when people believe you care about them?
I don’t like talking on the phone. I do like feeling needed and significant. It’s just a three-step program, right? Welcome to day 1 reconnecting with your greatest allies.
How do you feel about phone calls? How can answering a phone call help build your influence? Share your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.