the art of a phone call

imgresI read Mark Suster’s piece called It’s Soft King More Effective to Pick Up the Phone and started thinking about what he wrote.  He is right, millennials are totally allergic to phone calls.   Yet sometimes you have to just pick up the phone.  Email and text can communicate but nuances are lost particularly when you need to get a point across in a particular way.   Many times I end up having my first conversation with someone on the phone about their business.  It is not the easiest if you are not phone friendly.  There is a skill to it.  Focus, listen, answer the questions, engage as if the person was sitting there in front of you.

I had this conversation with my daughter.  She had interviewed over 50 people on the phone.  At the beginning it was not the easiest thing but she got better over time.  She is a texting generation kid.  Quick, short, to the point.  I love to hear my kids voices but I can tell that phone isn’t their most favored way of communication.  It doesn’t come easy talking into some instrument with some other voice on the other end.

I grew up with the phone.  We had one phone number in our house.  I remember as if was yesterday when we go the second line.  It was a gift for Chanukah.  This phone starting ringing.  My sister, my brother and me went crazy running around trying to find the phone.  We finally found it tucked under the bottom stairs to the basement around the corner from our TV hang out room.  The cord was long enough that we could actually pull it into the room.  I would spend hours and hours on the phone.  My sister spent so many hours on the phone with camp friends in the off -season and my Mom freaked when she got the bill.  Who knew talking on the phone could be so expensive.

Just like kids face time or skype each other and talk endlessly to the point where it is if they are just hanging in the same room together it was the same thing with the phone.  I would spend hours talking about nothing.  Sometimes we would just breath.

Maybe it was all the years of phone calls that taught me the skills of networking.  Who knows but the art of communication is never going away.  We might all be using different devices but you do have to figure out the best way to communicate clearly on each one.  Sometimes it is important to just pick up the phone or skype because the message doesn’t come across quite as clear when it comes to a text.