I Know You Do Not Want to Take My Call... - [website] Email Print
Published: 5th of Jun 2019 by: Carolyn Kessler

Have you ever been speaking to someone on the phone and your instinctive feeling is the other person isn't giving you their full attention? You just kind of know they are only half focused on what you have to say?

Well, chances are almost 100% that what your brain is telling you is true. They aren’t focused fully on your conversation – their attention is elsewhere and your subconscious has alerted to you to this because it's reading their body language.

Sounds strange, I know, but you can read a person's body language surprisingly accurately over the phone. There are tell-tale signs which your unconscious brain reads and interprets and the person on the other end of the phone can't mask them – mainly because they aren’t aware of them themselves.

Lack of focus is merely one of the ‘tells’ easily inferred during a phone conversation, there are many others too. Let's explore some of them:

Anger is easily recognised because the person’s tone tends to rise, again without their being aware of it or able to hide it.
Frustration alters our tone and tends to clip our words – very difficult to control.
Silence is good, if you’re simply waiting for the other person to vent before you ask questions. Passive aggression however, is often conveyed by what I call ‘pregnant’ silence. I can detect the anger waves through the hand set – don't fool yourself – I know you're furious.
Facial expression flows down the telephone line unambiguously. This means that both your happy face and your scowling face are as clear to me as if I were sitting across from you.
Boredom comes across loud and clear. There’s a complete lack of interest in your tone and I can hear it!
Slouching is easy to hear and a real put-off.

If this sounds a little far-fetched to you, just try speaking with a receptionist who is distracted or irritated and consciously check your own facial expression. Chances are extremely high you are mirroring what you’re interpreting and there's a frown in place of the smile that was there when you first greeted them.

There is extensive research which backs up everything I’ve said here – it's scientific and unarguable.

If you are the frontline of your company or the rise and fall of your business depends on liaising with customers, (and whose doesn't?), take note. People like dealing with people they like and that impression is formed from the first few words your frontline person utters when they pick up the phone.

We run comprehensive frontline courses where we address all this and so much more – give us a call as soon as possible!


Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660






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