4 Ways To Overcome Phone Anxiety At Work
In today's world, nearly everyone suffers from anxiety, especially millennials. As more Millennials enter the corporate workforce, phone anxiety is something that many might face at some point or another.
Phone anxiety is real, and over 80 percent of millennials fear it when they pick up their phones. Unfortunately, it gets worse when it affects your work,since you are bound to use the phone for work-related calls.
It's even worse with COVID because all the work is done from home, and you're left with no choice but to interact via phone calls or zoom calls. Nonetheless, you can't hide behind your screens forever.
It may be difficult to handle phone anxiety at work if you suffer from it or are supervising someone with it. Thus , this article aims to help you overcome phone anxiety at work.
What Is Phone Anxiety?
Have you ever experienced anxiety or sweaty palms upon hearing a phone ring? If so, you may be suffering from phone anxiety.
Phone anxiety or phone phobia is a fear mostly prevalent in those who suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD) or even general anxiety disorder (GAD). People without social anxiety disorder might have phone anxiety too when receiving a call and are unaware of the recipient.
There is a lot of uncertainty with a phone conversation that gets on your nerves or makes you uncomfortable. The uncertainties are like what if they don't answer the phone or how they're like, their body language or facial expression to help you guide them throughout the conversation. There's too much room for overthinking and assumptions to make you feel anxious.
Here are five ways to identify phone anxiety-
Avoiding or procrastinating making calls
Obsessing over the conversation after the call
Worrying about embarrassing yourself over phone calls
Increasing heart rate
Feeling nauseous or fidgeting before a call
Phone anxiety is when you wait for a voice call to end and text back asking, "why did you call?"
Symptoms Of Phone Anxiety
Phone anxiety is real. Some people find it difficult to pick up the phone, while others find it easy. It involves the fear and avoidance of making a phone call, and it tends to be very common. Someone who is anxious has to work hard to pick up the phone. Additionally, it might prevent them from talking about their mental health and well-being when they most need to.
If you are unaware of this, you might find it helpful to check for these symptoms to see if you are suffering from one.
Emotional symptoms of having phone anxiety:
Avoiding making calls or receiving calls
Feeling extremely anxious or nauseous before making a call
Worrying about bothering the other person
Stressing about the conversation or embarrassing yourself
Physical symptoms of having phone anxiety:
Increased heart rate
Difficulty in breathing
Sweaty palms or feet
Shaking or feeling of dizziness
Suggested Read : 7 Ways You Can Help Employees Dealing With Work Anxiety
How To Overcome Phone Anxiety
Phone anxiety is very common, and you can overcome it with simple tactics and practice. There are treatments for phone phobia, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and cognitive restructuring.
Apart from these coping strategies, there are other simple methods that you can practice, like making more and more phone calls to get over the anxiety. It might sound overwhelming for you initially, but "practice "is the key to overcoming your phone anxiety. Your fear will be less daunting with each phone call, and the stress will diminish gradually over time.
There are several coping techniques as well that you can try to overcome your phone phobia -
Smiling before speaking on the phone helps you relax and conveys a more positive sense of pleasantness to the person you're talking to.
You can motivate yourself to have more phone conversations by rewarding yourself after each successful one. Positive reinforcement comes in handy, as you'll be looking for something beyond the call to be recognized as an achievement.
Try To Visualize Success
Imagine a successful conversation instead of visualizing a failed one. Visualize a scenario where the conversation is a success, and you feel more confident later. It will also help you get rid of your anxious thoughts.
To avoid becoming anxious, you should stop overthinking situations or things that will only increase your anxiety. It would help if you tried not to read too much into someone's actions and accepted them for what they are. If the recipient is unavailable or busy, you should have a more flexible attitude.
Before making a call, prepare a bit, but don't overdo it. Prepare a general outline of what you want to say, but expect that the conversation may not go exactly as you envision. Make sure you write down the important points you need to discuss and keep them ready.
Four Ways To Get Rid Of Phone Anxiety At Work
Phone anxiety is a common problem, and it is even worse when you're at work. For example, if you're in sales or there's a requirement for a telephonic interview, then you might become anxious. But you can try or practice many ways and tactics to get rid of your phone anxiety at work. Some of them are listed below -
1. Prepare A Note And Rehearse It
Phone calls are often long, but even if they are short and abrupt, you can prepare notes or a script about the entire conversation before you speak to make the call go more smoothly. You can also create a more structured script with bullet points that you want to hit during the call. It includes some pointers like -
Brief overview and common pleasantries
Your question to the person you're talking to
Solution or answer
Schedule for wrapping up.
2. Smile And Speak With Confidence
When confronting your phone anxiety at work, sometimes it is better to adopt the “fake it until you make it” attitude. By doing so, you will feel more pressured to complete it quickly. When you're talking, make sure to smile and speak with a positive attitude. You may not feel confident, but you'll sound like you are, and eventually, you will be.
3. Reflect On Past Call Experiences
Listening to your past calls will help you become desensitized to future calls. It will allow you to listen objectively and focus on where you went wrong and what you did right. Writing down your strengths and weaknesses will help you analyze them and keep track of your progress.
It is important to note both the good and the bad aspects of your performance and any mistakes you have made along the way. You can ask for help from a manager or an experienced colleague in the beginning. It will be a wise decision since they’ll have an easier time being having a manager or another experienced colleague help you with this is a wise idea in the beginning since they'll have an easier time being objective and can offer you solid advice.
4. Develop Self-Awareness
Developing a stronger sense of self-awareness is crucial for getting rid of any anxiety-related issues. When you're more aware of your flaws, you can be more prepared to pinpoint them and correct them. It's normal to make mistakes, but it is far more important to be able to recognize them and work on them for self-improvement.
You can start your journey of developing self-awareness by identifying your weak points and fears. For starters, you can begin by asking yourself these questions-
Are you afraid of stuttering?
Are you fearful of avoidance?
Are you afraid of sounding stupid?
Are you worried that you will lose your focus between the conversations?
Are you afraid of getting rejected?
Whatever it is, the sooner you identify it, the sooner you can address it. Then, you can start focusing on ways to avoid the things that scare you.
Summing it up
Managing phone anxiety is difficult, but not impossible. With the right tools and support at hand, you or your employees can make phone calls with ease. I hope this article provided you with a better perspective on this phobia and how to overcome it.
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