November 5, 2014

When exactly did it happen that picking up the telephone became such a chore… actually place a phone call that is? “Pick up the phone” sounds as archaic as “hold the line”. When it comes to technology thought leadership, how did THE VOICE lose out? Voice technology is seemingly being shunned by information management professionals in the Information Age. But let’s not point fingers, let’s just pick up the phone.

Once the definitive expeditor, between two parties who needed to talk live and to talk now, this 20th century stalwart now plays second fiddle to typists who might be well-intended but misguided. The traditional 1:1 / human: human phone call is underutilized, under-appreciated and vastly under-valued. If truth be told? We might all admit to predicaments (often self-induced) caused by ignoring the immediacy and satisfaction The Phone can bring to effective and timely communications. Are you a job seeker, sales professional, manager of people, arbiter of truth, social worker, student, health care provider, or just plain ole information seeker? When in doubt, pick up the phone.

Of course, there’s a place for email. And substituting a text in lieu of a phone call can work just nicely. Blogging sure has its place. And social media tools like Newsle, Google Analytics, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hootsuite and Jelly are transformative. In this hyper-connected economy, I understand that The Phone is not a “one size fits all” as there are numerous ways to connect with other humans. I recommend that you measure the value of that “connection” against the outcome you are seeking. And then? Invite The Phone into your world on a more regular basis.

Do you wish to create value? Don’t overanalyze and don’t hesitate, just pick up the phone. Are you seeking ways to expedite business? Are you frustrated that no one is answering your email? Would you like to build rapport? Is it important to eventually meet this person? Can you reeeealllly make progress in business these days by not giving The Phone the respect it deserves? Can you honestly guide someone toward a favorable decision by consistently relying on email? I urge you to remind your smartphone that it is a smart phone. The Phone is a device par excellence. It is a communications tool that indeed transformed the world. So don’t give up on it just yet. Some might say The Phone is outdated and can be burdensome. I say, avoiding the phone in favor of email can hurt business, hinder creativity and delay projects.

What better way, sans a face to face meeting, can there be than talking to another human being on the phone? Won’t it make for a better day after all? If you can do something more quickly and more efficiently by using older technology, then try it. It will take effort and some planning and practice to trust The Phone… befriend The Phone… like The Phone. I urge you, just pick up the phone. Good things will result.

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