The question was ‘How does the lack of visual contact influence telephone conversations?’
In every way imaginable.
For a start, when we speak face-to-face, we are simultaneously processing language, the use of voice, gestures and facial expressions. They all influence how we interpret what is being said.
The same conversation over the telephone does not have the benefit of multi-faceted cues. It is incumbent upon the voice to carry diversity of meaning and interpretation with it. And that is neither simple nor easy to do.
Add to this, our ability as humans to make assumptions and leap to conclusions.
No wonder we become confused.
- Yes, you can repeat yourself. Do this as a reminder, or say what you said in a different way using the same key words
- Assert yourself: ask for clarification before things go off track
- Confirm what you have heard and ask for their comment
- Use verbal and vocal nods – vary what you say
- Manage the tone in your voice so that the message is open, direct and free of ambiguity
If you’re not sure how to put these strategies into place, give me a call on my mobile or send me an invitation to chat via skype.