It’s on your desk, in the battery charging cradle at home, or in the tray in your car. Some are black, some are white, some are shiny. They all have numerical keypads . . . keypads that rarely get used by anyone under 35.
It’s Your Phone
A phone, by definition, is an instrument that converts voice and other sound signals into a form that can be transmitted to remote locations and that receives and reconverts waves into sound signals.
In other words, it’s intended to talk to other people, something that is clearly lost on anyone between the ages of 12 and 35. That’s not to say that people older than 35 aren’t voice adverse as well, but clearly the under 35 generation has a totally different application for their phone.
So why am I talking about this? Because it frustrates me. In business and in our personal lives, too many of us have abandoned personal conversation in exchange for 140 characters, and I would contend that it is causing more problems than it is helping.
Email and texting both have a very valuable place. I use my phone to text, and I’m immersed in email all day long, but there is something that neither of them can accomplish. They cannot convey accurate “tone” like a phone call. Too many times, people tap a message only to find out than the recipient interpreted it in a totally different way than it was intended. When there’s no tone, tone is supplied by the reader.
In the workplace, this can be a problem, one that can escalate quickly. Most of the time, we send an email or a text to a customer or colleague. This makes sense. It’s convenient, easy, and fast. But when an “issue” arises, it’s much better to pick up the phone and call rather than exchange emails. That way, you hear one another and it’s far less likely to turn ugly. We’re mostly cowards on the phone. Not so much when typing.
A few years back, a family member who was in her 20’s s texted me a question. So I called her. She didn’t answer, but she did text me back saying, “What?” So, I called her back. When she answered, I said, “Why didn’t you just pick up the first time?” The answer floored me, “You’re weird! Who does that? Just text me back.”
I am clearly disconnected. I don’t understand this phone phobia. Maybe I’ve become that old guy, out of touch at 40. I LOVE technology more than most, but it can’t replace conversation.
In our world, whether you are in Accounting, Production, Account Management, Project Management, or Graphic Design, you are in Sales, even if sales isn’t in your title. Maybe not all the time, but a portion of your job requires interacting with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. What is sales? Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another. It’s that simple . . . and it’s much easier to convey enthusiasm verbally than in a text.
If you want to combine technology and a voice call, use FaceTime like my 6-year old son. He calls me at least three times a day. And hearing him . . . it’s so much better than a text.
Give me a call. I’d love to hear from you. We can chat about the Good Old Days, before the youngins’ ruined everything.