Now, admittedly, I’m not much of a “phone person” in that I don’t spend hours or even 15 minutes on the phone with people. I don’t pick up the phone to “just say hi” to people. Not even my dad, sister or brother. It’s not that I don’t love them all and my friends dearly – I just don’t happen to be the type of person who talks much on the phone.
It’s really been that way for more years than I honestly can remember.
So, having gotten THAT out of the way, I do, nonetheless, find myself on the phone frequently for business and the standard variety of day-to-day requirements that pop up.
Sometimes I need to answer a call, and other times I need to make a call.
It was in the “I need to make a call” mode that brings me to the point of this post.
I happened to be in a particularly introspective mood when I made a few recent phone calls.
First, I needed to call our auto insurance company to change some coverage on one of our vehicles. The woman who answered was very pleasant – downright cheery! And here it was, only 9:00 in the morning! I could hear the smile in her voice – and frankly, she had ME smiling in return.
Contrast that with another phone call that I needed to make. I should also mention that I had been putting off making THIS particular call, because I’ve had to make it before, and it’s not a “phone destination” that I find at all pleasant.
But, I made the call anyway, because that’s my job. The person who answered sounded like she had been woken up after being asleep and having a really bad dream. Her voice was… and I’m not really sure how to describe it, precisely… but it was kind of dull. Listless.
When asked how she was doing, the response was, “Ok.” In a monotone, almost depressed tone. And she may well BE depressed. The conversation was almost alarming. No life. No zest. And, it was obvious to me that she was not smiling.
I couldn’t wait to conclude my business and get off the phone.
It was while I was in this introspective mood that I could feel my emotions shifting very visibly. The first person was someone I was required to give money to (that is, I needed to pay for some insurance) – and I was ready to whip out the checkbook gladly.
The second person was someone who had me rushing to open a window to breathe in some fresh air and discard some perceived toxins I felt had just invaded my entire being.
So what is the point of all this?
The point is, whether we are on a journey to improve the quality of our business, our health, or our lives in general, it is critical to be aware of what we are putting OUT into our surrounding environment and those people IN our environment.
Now, even though I am not a “phone person,” when my phone rings – and due to the nature of one of my business ventures it DOES ring – I automatically sit up a little straighter, put a smile on my face (After all, someone may be calling me to GIVE me money! So how great is that!), and answer the phone in a cheerful voice.
So, if you have not thought before about this seemingly simple activity that is part of our lives, I urge you to do so now.
After all, since the telephone is such a widespread method of communication, it just makes good sense to be as aware as possible of the type of energy we are putting out there.
Oh… one more thing – this goes for answering machine greetings as well! Rather than take up any more of your time in this already lengthy newsletter, I wrote an article about business voice mail greetings a few years ago called “When ‘Dude’ Isn’t Your Customer’s Name” – and if you are interested, I have reprinted it here at the blog:
In the meantime, thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!