Telephone Confidence

Postby flipper » Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:55 am

First post here, just wanted to get something off my chest and hopefully get your views.

In public and in groups I am relatively confident person and have had some reasonable success in my life.
I am 30 by the way. I recently resigned from a retail management job after 5 years of drudgery and pressure which began to get me down. My boss said that most of the problems I had would be solved if I commuicated with him more often. This is only part of the problem.

Anyway, after 5 months I have recently started a new job in recruitment consultancy 5 days ago, which basically involves speaking to many people on a daily basis over the phone. I have had doubts as to whether this is the right job for me, but did not want to go back into retail for another company and am actually glad of a fresh start. The earning potential seems to be very good.

My problem is this:

I have a real fear of what people think of me and am afraid that I come across as stupid, inexperienced or disinterested. I have trouble thinking of what to say next and am reluctant to swing the conversations I have in the directions I need to take them in order to find out the information I need and sell the candidates/jobs to employers/candidates. The people I am speaking to are professionals in the construction industry - engineers, quantity surveyors, construction managers etc, basically people who are on substantially higher salaries than me and as a result I feel inadequate. I am experiencing the same sort of reluctance to pick up the phone and call these people as I did when I had trouble picking up the phone and talking to my previous boss. As a result of this I am not making enough calls, am trying to research a huge amount about the people first (which I could get from speaking to them more effectively), and feel like a fish out of water. I feel like I need a reason to call people, even my friends (I don't have that many). I guess I have taken this job to try and force myself out of this type of behaviour.

I am wondering if my feelings of telephone phobia, social inadequacy and lack of self confidence will continue to hamper me throughout my life and affect every job I do. Has anyone been in this type of situation and found a practical solution? I keep telling myself that if I plug away I will get better on the phone and with experience will become good at my job. However, I keep looking back and reflecting on my past behaviour and wonder if this is actually true. Seems to me that some people are naturally good at talking to people, and some are not.

Any help/ideas/suggestions?
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:34 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby blackandwhite » Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:59 am

Hi flipper,
i understand you feelings. i have similar experiences. It sound like you are very self concious and that you have negative thoughts. read this article about positive thinking.... ... nking.html

As a result of you being self concious and a result of your negative thoughts (ie.quote: "they will think im uninterested in them")... this will eat away at ur confidence.

here is an hynosis download that is associated with uncommon knowledge. i downloaded it 2 days ago and listen to is 3 times a day. it seems to be fixing my thoughts slowly, but i need to listen for about a month or two i think before seeing big results.!ukpos

hope this helps and stay in touch on here, im sure evryone would be happy to help u in anyway they can. :)
Junior Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:45 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby Lyndsay Swinton » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Hi flipper,

Thanks for you post, and welcome to the forum! I trust you will find this a useful, informative place to be.

Black and white makes some good suggestions - I'd recommend checking out the articles and consider the downloads.

My first thoughts are - you've only been in the job 5 days - give yourself a break! You were recruited to the position as you have the right knowledge skills and attitude and are able to learn any new skills.

I am wondering if my feelings of telephone phobia, social inadequacy and lack of self confidence will continue to hamper me throughout my life and affect every job I do.

Before you write yourself off as a lost cause, I think you need to look "outside" of yourself for some solutions. What I suspect is that you are lacking a few skills, or need to brush up on a few others and could benefit from a few tools of the trade.

In, for example, telephone fundraising, callers are given a "script" to help them through the call. This usually consists of some kind of opening to build rapport quickly, a sales pitch including objection responses, and a close to make the sale. This is just like an actor learning his lines - compare that with doing improvisation which is much more challenging, more risky and very stressful for novice actors. Can you write such a call script, or ask your employers to help you with one?

There are 101 ideas for how to build your confidence at this Uncommon Knowledge site - just sign up for the free email course.

In summary, think about this like training for a race - you need to get some skills and also do some practice. This is the only way to improve - you will not win the race by wishful thinking!

I hope this is a useful start - you will improve!

Warm Regards
Lyndsay Swinton
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 7:08 am
Location: Oban, Scotland
Likes Received: 1


Postby satanstoystore » Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:26 pm

your issues are momentary, they will not last life long if you dealwith them in a new way.

You sound very kinesthetic, like you make decisions based on feelings. Nearly all your language deals with kinesthetic approach to the world. Probably why you chose a highly auditory job. I did the same thing because I am mainly visual. And I hate phones. My job used to be calling people and covertly extracting competitive information for their competitor.

You might feel that these higher paid execs are a level above you but they really don't know how much you make or how much influence you have. In fact, people often accept the reality presented to them. If you come across as the expert, on the same level but laterally, or maybe even a little above- they will often accept it. Especially since a lot of people are horrible at hiring/finding a job.

You have a bunch of trigger words in your writing. I sense some deep values and beliefs you have, and modal operators of the world. When you talk with someone be confident you will have the right answers as you intently listen for their trigger words. Here's an example of a few I think you will resonate to: drudgery, pressure, get me down, pick up, real, come across, substantial, huge, fish out of water...

Once you really discover these (huge) key triggers
that they use in their language,
which are substantial in decision making,
you can reorganize your sales pitch to
fit their recipe to
get your services.
How does that feel? But in conversation you want to really find out what they believe and what they value, and speak to them through their values.

So get on the phone, realize you're the expert and they need you. Smile as you talk with them. If it helps, imagine you and them in golden bubbles. Listen intently for the trigger words that express the deep feelings in them. Listen to their tone, their pace, the silence between their words- everything to put your focus outside of your head.

I know alot of primarily kinesthetic people that are excellent persuaders. If you want a good book you should check out david barron's Power Persuasion. It's like cliffnotes to practically every persuasion technique I've heard of.
Posts: 8045
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: seattle
Likes Received: 1


Postby flipper » Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:19 pm


great stuff guys thanks very much.
didn't really expect such a response in 12 hours.

this response in particular:
"Especially since a lot of people are horrible at hiring/finding a job"
has helped me out a lot. I have put it as wallpaper on my work PC desktop at the moment in big letters.

Thinking about it, I am a very kinesthetic person and have always had a tendency to act on feelings - which probably made it difficult to explain some of the decisions I had made to my former boss, who was a very analytical bloke. I think I annoyed him a bit because my ideas made more money than his.

In terms of the script idea Lyndsay mentioned - I have got one and am using it but am finding my lack of knowledge of the industry a bit of a pain - to be perfectly honest I havent got a clue what the people I speak to actually do on a day to day basis - lol, so the questions I am getting asked are doing my nut in. I am finding that by asking people I speak to various things and trying to get them to help me that its working, but I feel a bit unprofessional doing this. I guess the product knowledge will come in time and I shouldnt be put off speaking to these folks. The fact I have been in the job 5 days I suppose is why this is happening.

I'll plug away at it and give you an update in a week or so. Today and tomorrow I will be working on "not really giving a toss what people think of me". Thanks for the advice and keep it coming!
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:34 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby Ripptastic » Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:16 pm

One thing I always do when 'cold-calling' anyone is to imagine them sat by the telephone, head in their hands and wrestling with a huge dilemma!

Then I'd visualise them answering my call and me solving all their problems!

Give it a try...
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:51 pm
Likes Received: 0


Postby launchboxbill » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:26 am

hehe that last suggestion was great.

personally i hate using the phone. i like to text if i can or use the internet. so i avoid making phonecalls and its sometiems bad. id rather talk to the person in person. actually id rather not talk to them at all but i want to either have them sitting next to me, because when im on the phone i cant perform any other task, i cant have music on, i cant watch tv i cant type on the computer i cant do annnything. so it a waste of time imo, the phone.

why dont you look for jobs your good at instead of trying to tackle a fear for a job that you dont like?
Preferred Member
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:09 am
Location: sydney
Likes Received: 0


Postby Acecare » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:07 am

You have your points satanstoystore and I definitely agree with you. The fact that two people are different. You don't have to worry just enjoy and give direction from your job.
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:53 am
Likes Received: 0


Postby jimmymycrushie » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:44 am

I've a bit of telephone phobia too. I too feel like I need a reason to call people and before calling someone, I feel that I'd run out of things to talk and it would be weird if no one said anything after a while so sometimes I postpone calling people and sometimes I just don't call them when I'm supposed to. This is the second time in my life when I've become less social. After it happened for the first time, I just started talking to people in person and then on the phone. Almost every time I call people, everything goes well. Yes, sometimes there is silence but that is only for a few seconds. I also met someone to whom I really liked talking and never ran out of things to talk to her. Just getting the hang of it, just talking on the phone often made me feel comfortable talking over the phone. And then I started calling people just like everyone, overcame my phobia. Just practice it, may work with you too. Good luck.
Full Member
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:43 am
Likes Received: 0

  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to Workplace Psychology