Monday, August 3, 2009

Making That Tough Phone Call

Recently I had to make a difficult call. I had to ring an estranged relative who was dying and let them know I was thinking of them. He was going to be quite down, and there’s nothing quite like trying to empathise with a dying person or a person who’s very recently lost someone. Added to this, I was unsure what terms I’d be greeted with; the last interaction we had was acrimonious.

These sorts of calls are always hard to make no matter how confident we are about using the phone. Imagine how hard it is for those who shrink at even the thought of using a phone--you might be one of these people. Well, take heart. Everyone finds this sort of call difficult.

We’ll fumble over what we’ll say and how we’ll say it. We also get worried about the response we’ll receive. The best thing to do is simply 1) plan the call, and 2) make the call.

When preparing for the call:

~~ I took some notes; just some simple bullet points really, of what I wanted to say.

~~ I prepared myself to be especially humble.

~~ I planned it to occur when I’d be about as relaxed and care-free as possible so I could focus.
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~~ I envisioned the conversation going well and I also prepared myself emotionally if it didn’t go so well i.e. I would commend myself for making the effort in spite of the response.

Making the call is a decision of the will; just do it. Pick up the receiver and dial the number and be ready.

Often we’re pleasantly surprised regarding how our call eventually turns out. Our courage is more often than not rewarded. There’s the trepidation we felt and how relieved we felt when this proved erroneous. If it wasn’t a positive experience our self-esteem can hopefully encourage us--we made the effort and did what was right.

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