I am terrified of talking on the phone but my job responsibilities will require me to do so.
December 17, 2009 4:06 PM Subscribe
I have a near-pathological fear of talking to strangers on the phone. My expanded job duties will soon include calling clients. How do I get past this fear?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I am already looking for another job for unrelated reasons, but it is likely that I will be in this one for another few months due to the economy etc. Plus this is just a fear I'll have to get past in any job.
I think this mainly stems from the fact that I am hearing impaired and had speech therapy for years. I can function perfectly well with people I know, and I don't have too many problems in person, but over the phone I have trouble understanding people, and they have trouble understanding me. I get embarrassed when I have to repeat myself or ask them to repeat words. It is not a volume level, I have devices to help me with that. In my non-work life I try my best to use email wherever possible when I have to contact businesses or other people I don't know.
I will not be making cold calls, I will be calling existing clients to verify information, confirm orders, etc. Normally I will only talk to them once or twice so it is not as if I will be building an ongoing relationship. I expect a large proportion of clients will not speak English in the way that I do (accents, dialect) which increases the frustration in trying to understand each other. Up to now I have not had to make phone calls in this job. They are expanding my duties.
I really need to get past this because I think it will hinder my future career. The anxiety is such that my stomach tightens even writing this.