Has the art of speaking on the phone been killed off by the phone?

I love my mobile phone, it does everything and makes my life easier. I have various email accounts linked to it so I can work on the move, I can check my bank balance, keep in touch with my family/friends via various messaging apps, read the news, take photos, book school clubs and pay for trips, check the weather – not to mention the various social media apps. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what function my ‘mobile phone’ has and the part it plays in my life.

But, and here’s the problem, when I first got a mobile phone all it could do was make calls and text and that’s what we all did – we would talk to each other. Now I like to talk, so it’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I do still use my mobile phone a lot to make calls in both my work and personal life. I still have at least a one hour long phone call with my mum each week, regularly pick the phone to clients for a chat and if there is a problem that needs sorting I will pick up the phone and try and get it resolved with a conversation.

However, from what I am reading on various work forums and witnessing in real life, I am becoming the minority. With all these different functions and ways of communicating that our mobile phones offer we are choosing not to actually speak to colleagues, clients, supporters or peers on the phone. One recent example of this was a fellow freelancer who had posted on a mutual forum about how thier invoice for first payment hadn’t been paid, they where due to work again that week – what should they do?

Have we lost confidence to pick up the phone and make that call. Or maybe phone calls are dead and we should embrace non-verbal communication more to make it more effective.

There was a range of views given from other forum members from refusing to work for the client, emailing reminders, messaging the client, delaying work and one lone voice saying pick up the phone! This got me thinking about how our phones are actually stopping us speaking. Being paid is obviously important but firing off an invoice from the app on your phone and then getting to the point of considering stopping working for a client without even speaking to someone seems madness to me.

Technology, making the best use of it and keeping up to date is important but I think it is key to success to get the balance right and particular in the charity sector where building relationships is everything. Maybe our all singing and dancing mobile phones have made it too easy to not speak to each other and now we have lost confidence to pick up the phone and make that call. Or maybe phone calls are dead and we should embrace non-verbal communication more to make it more effective.

I would be really interested to know your thoughts and if you think, confidence in picking up the phone (but not in a Sales way) is a subject that The Charity Knowledge Hub should run a workshop about. If you would appreciate this training or are indeed a expert phone caller yourself then please let me know – give me a call!

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