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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Friday in work my boss gave me a task which will involve ringing up people I don't know and asking them for information on a technical problem I don't really understand myself. This is really difficult for me because

a) I find it so difficult to make phone calls anyway, my stomach flips just thinking about
b) It's worse having to ring people I don't know, introduce myself and then ask them for a favour all in one go. I panic, blurting it all out and end up sounding very stiff and overly formal
c) I hate being overheard when I'm on the phone and I'll have to make these calls in a busy open plan office with my boss sitting across from me
d) Since I don't really understand what I'm asking about I tend to feel very stupid and imagine they will pick up on that and I'll embarass myself

Does anyone have any tips that would make these phone calls, or phone calls in general, any easier to cope with? I'd really appreciate it because I'm dreading work on Monday :no
 

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Hmm..I know how you feel. I'm way better on the phone than I used to be. There isn't a step or steps that I took to get there though....But first I would be honest about your lack of knowledge on the technical subject but in a positive way. You know, tell the person you are very interested in it, that it's your work assignment, and that you are really wanting to learn more. Having said that, maybe research the subject so that you can know just a little bit more about it. And maybe also write a script that you can follow closely? Oh and this might sound crazy, but call people at random and pretend you are doing a quick survey for class or something. Eh, I know that's crazy but it might be good exposure. Youtube "crank calls" :b that way you don't take things so seriously, hehe. And sometimes, I like to make a "pre-game" call to my "go-to" team member (my brother); he cracks me up, and I have no problem talking to him on the phone. We talk for a while, then I forget I was nervous. Then right after I hang up with him, I make the hard call (the job interview request, the asking for the date or whatever). Good luck! :)
 

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I feel your pain. The phone gives me an instant panic attack. My heart starts pounding almost immediately after I've dialed all the numbers. When I have to talk, it sounds like I just got done running a marathon because I have to stop mid sentence a lot to catch my breath.

I wish I knew the answer. I thought maybe repeated exposure would help, but that didn't seem to work for me as I used to fill in for the receptionist a lot at my last job. But most of the time I wasn't really talking to them. I just answered with the standard company name greeting and then directed their call when they asked who to speak to. When they'd start asking me questions, that's when I ran into problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some good suggestions there!

I've also found that repeated exposure doesn't help, I make a few calls one day, feel good about it, then the next day I'm back to square one. Can't hurt to practice though I guess. I like the idea about calling someone easier to talk to first, the problem is with my boss sitting across from me it might not be such a good idea. The worst part is I really like my boss, he's a nice guy, so the idea of letting him down, and letting him see how bad I am on the phone, is really depressing.
 

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On Friday in work my boss gave me a task which will involve ringing up people I don't know and asking them for information on a technical problem I don't really understand myself. This is really difficult for me because

a) I find it so difficult to make phone calls anyway, my stomach flips just thinking about
b) It's worse having to ring people I don't know, introduce myself and then ask them for a favour all in one go. I panic, blurting it all out and end up sounding very stiff and overly formal
c) I hate being overheard when I'm on the phone and I'll have to make these calls in a busy open plan office with my boss sitting across from me
d) Since I don't really understand what I'm asking about I tend to feel very stupid and imagine they will pick up on that and I'll embarass myself

Does anyone have any tips that would make these phone calls, or phone calls in general, any easier to cope with? I'd really appreciate it because I'm dreading work on Monday :no
When I had a job and I had to make phone calls I had your exact same problem but eventually I just became more comfortable as I kept doing it. In the end, I did not mind making these calls. Now I get freaked out when I have to make phone calls. Even if it's just ordering food. I'm having a hard time calling and making an appointment with a shrink I've decided I'd like to start seeing.
 

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I have had to do that myself, working at a job making phone calls, and I couldn't handle it. I just don't like talking on the phone, period. I don't care who is on the other hand. I would rather be doing something else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know what you mean, if I have to make a few phone calls in the same day it gets easier but it all resets back to being really hard again the next day.

In any case I managed to make a call today and luckily the woman I had to call was very nice so it went pretty well and I think I solved the problem so my boss complimented me too :)

It was a little confidence boost but I'd still love to hear anyones tips to make it easier in future. For now I'll take my mini-victory!
 

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What I usually do is think of what I'm going to say before I even make the call. I try to envision the start of the conversation so that way I don't draw a blank while I'm on the phone. It is a hit and miss idea though because you never actually know what the other person is going to say but if you give yourself a head start hopefully the words will just roll out of your mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah rehearsing in your head can work really well with some calls, and I usually do it to some degree, but as you say if the other person says something unexpected it can completely throw you off. I've had that happen causing me to freeze up so completely that the person on the other end asked to speak to my boss instead :sus
 
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