Tips Against Fear Of The Listener

Tips Against Fear Of The Listener

The ringing of a telephone – for most people a completely everyday situation at work. But while some people pick up the phone without hesitation, others feel uncomfortable with the ringing of the bell, which can grow into fear or even panic. The fear of telephoning, often also called telephone phobia, is widespread. Those who are affected are by no means alone. However, the topic is rarely discussed.

Telephone phobia as an expression of social phobia

First of all, it should be noted that telephone phobia is not a diagnosed anxiety disorder. In other words, it is not a clinically proven problem. However, this does not mean that the person concerned is just imagining their fear of the telephone.

Telephone phobia is understood as a form of social phobia. This is the fear of social, i.e. interpersonal contacts in various forms. A social phobia occurs differently in every person. Not everyone who suffers from this anxiety disorder automatically has a telephone phobia. On the other hand, this also means that a fear of telephoning does not necessarily mean that the person concerned has problems communicating with other (foreign) people.

How many people are affected by a telephone phobia cannot be said. There are no clear figures or studies on this yet. A general social phobia is present in about 2 to 3 % of the German population.

Tips Against Phone Phobia

If you listen around at work or in the personal networks, you will quickly notice that the aversion to telephoning is widespread. So it’s nothing to be ashamed of or something to hide. In the following, we will give you a number of tips to help you fight your fear of making a phone call.

Fixed phone times

Anyone who knows that an important phone call is imminent is often paralysed with fear all day long. It goes without saying that this unpleasant feeling automatically affects all your other tasks and severely slows down your productivity. Don’t let your fear of making a phone call block your entire workflow. You can do this, for example, by setting daily telephone times. Especially in the case of frequent callers, it makes sense to define time windows in which all incoming calls are handled. This has the following advantages:

The basic kit

“All beginnings are hard” is not only a popular proverb, but also has a lot of truth in it. Many people with a telephone phobia are particularly afraid of starting a conversation and often get muddled. In order to avoid this unpleasant situation, it makes sense to consider a general introductory sentence that you can use with every call.

This will help you to focus and create a routine. The sentence can be written on a piece of paper and placed in a visible place at your workplace. This way you always have it in front of you and can practice it between two conversations. At some point it will be very easy for you to read.

Ask for help

“I hope I’m not interrupting.” – “Hmm, whether the person at the other end of the line is the one who can help me.” – “What if I can’t remember the name right away?” Do these or similar thoughts seem familiar to you before making a phone call? Does it make you nervous that a phone call is always associated with so many unknown variables?

Then our next, extremely simple tip will help you: Just ask! It’s simple. A friendly “Hello Mr. X, I hope I’m not disturbing you” or “Hello Ms. Y, are you the right person to talk to when it comes to topic Z?” immediately steers the conversation in a constructive direction and saves time – on both sides of the line.

It is also important that you clear up any ambiguities immediately. You have not understood the answer of your interviewee or need more detailed information? Don’t be afraid to go back again. This is not only a sign of interest, but also of a thorough way of working. It doesn’t help anyone if you still have open points on your list after the phone call or if not all questions have been clarified clearly.

The Worst Case

If you are afraid of making a phone call, you may be afraid of very special situations, which could also be described as “worst case” scenarios. Which “horror scenarios” are these? Take the time to write down all your worries and fears in order to reflect them afterwards.

By facing up to your concrete fears, you will learn to deal with them better. It’s also a good exercise to use to discover that some of the scenarios that are ghosts in your head are completely absurd.

Additional tip: Simply writing down your fears is not enough for you? Then additionally consider how you would behave in various worst-case scenarios. What do you reply to certain statements? How do you react to rejection? What do you do if your interviewer does not understand what you want from him? Play through different situations and gain more security on the phone.

Stephen S. Davidson