Have you ever had a pang of nervousness pooling in the pit of your stomach when you see your phone light up with an incoming call from an unknown number? Are you constantly dealing with bouts of anxiety and nervousness every time you are faced with the option of making or receiving a phone call? This might be because you suffer from phone anxiety disorder!
These days many different forms of communication are used when it comes to the work environment. Emails are just one part of it. If you really think about it, the most common form of communication is through phone and video calls.
Thus, phone anxiety is a huge problem. Not only does it hinder your personal life but phone anxiety at work can really damage your work profile and performance. If you are one of these people, worry not. We have explained below just what phone anxiety is and how to deal with it.
What is Phone Anxiety?
First of all, let’s try to understand what exactly phone anxiety is. Phone anxiety is a social disorder. People who suffer from social disorders are incredibly terrified of being judged. They get embarrassed easily and this, coupled with the fear of being judged, makes it very difficult for them to socialise with people. Naturally, they also experience extreme anxiousness when put under situations like having to attend phone calls.
It is the same as a social disorder, but it translates into fear and prevents them from doing something as simple as attending a phone call. They constantly worry about what they are going to say, who might be calling them, and what if they say something wrong and embarrass themselves in front of the caller. These people not only fear attending calls, they might even be reluctant to make them.
How to Know Whether you have Phone Anxiety?
Have you ever wanted to order a pizza from the local restaurant only to change your mind because you just couldn’t muster up the courage to dial their number and place the order? Or perhaps you’ve got a call from an unknown number and it sent your heart racing wildly only to drop your phone and run in the opposite direction. If this has happened to you, chances are you might be suffering from phone anxiety. Take a look at the questions below to further understand how it works.
- Do you feel extremely uncomfortable and anxious while making or taking calls?
- Does the idea of making calls makes you so nervous that you try to put them off or ignore them altogether?
- Do you always keep your phone on silent because the shrill ringing of the phone sends your heart racing?
- Do you worry yourself sick about how you might be bothering the person you have to call?
- Do you constantly worry you might embarrass yourself while on a call with someone?
- Do you replay the conversations in your head after a phone call, again and again, worrying about everything you said?
- Does your heart start palpitating, and your body shake every time you have to make a call or attend one?
- Do your hands sweat profusely if you have to talk to someone via phone call?
- Do you sometimes feel nauseated while on a call with someone?
- Do you have difficulty keeping your focus when you are on a call with someone?
If you answered ‘yes’ to more than half of these, we have some bad news for you. There is a high possibility that you suffer from phone anxiety.
How to Get Over Phone Anxiety at Workplace:
If you are someone that suffers from phone anxiety, you will know better than anyone else that it can really interfere with not only the quality of your life at home but also with your performance at work.
During work, you are expected to do a ton of different tasks. These involve meeting with a lot of different people and might even involve making and receiving multiple different phone calls. This rings true especially for people who work in PR related jobs and customer services. At work, you are expected to deal and socialise with multiple people. Since we live in a global age, you might have to make and receive dozens of phone calls every single day, switching from one person to another without any break.
This can be extremely difficult for people who have phone anxiety at work. But, worry not. For this, compiled below are tips and tricks on how to overcome your phone anxiety at workplace.
Tried & True tips to Overcome Workplace Phone Anxiety:
There are multiple ways of overcoming your fear of talking on the phone with someone. Some of the best ones are as follows:
Rehearse what you are going to say
This is a tried and true method. It may sound cliché but believe it or not, it works best. Before you make a call or consider attending one, make sure you have a script. Rehearse what you are going to say, so that you know exactly what to utter next in order to not embarrass yourself. This way you will go into your call fully prepared.
Make use of an Interactive Voice Response System
An IVR system can really go miles for employees who suffer from social phobias and phone anxieties. This is perhaps one of the best options available when it comes to easing the way for people with phone anxieties at work.
These are automated systems that have pre-recorded answers for anyone that might call on a company’s hotline. In this way, they completely take away the ordeal of having to personally talk to people. They are a godsend for socially anxious people in the workplace. If you are looking for a decent IVR system, then Caller Suite would be your ultimate choice.
Try to make peace with everything that can go wrong.
Something that really fuels one’s anxieties is fear of everything that can go wrong. In this world, there is only so much that we can control. At the end of the day, there will always be things which will be out of our control. Try to accept the fact that we are humans, and mistakes happen. Once you do that, surely some of your anxieties will ebb away.
Try to be interested and curious about the person on the other side of the call
It is easy to fear what we don’t know. That is why most children are afraid of the dark. However, there are two ways to deal with the unknown. Either you can be afraid of it, or you can be excited and curious about it. Try to ask yourself questions like: ‘I wonder who’s calling me?’ or ‘I wonder if it is someone interesting’. You will end up feeling interested rather than afraid. This will surely help calm some of your fears that stem from phone anxieties at work.
This is an age-old method and has been known to work wonders for people with similar disorders. If you are in a team like customer success or sales, this will not only help you overcome your fear but will actually help you improve your performances as well.
Listen to your previous calls no matter how much it frustrates you to hear your own voice. Studies have proven that listening to yourself talk can really help you understand not only where you went wrong but also motivate you for the next conversation.
How you ask?
When you listen to your previous calls, you will notice where you went wrong and try to learn from it. But, wait. It gets better! You will also notice where you were right and what worked best for you. Consequently, this will motivate and help you ease your anxieties for next time.