What to talk about on the phonehttps://mljzsynwtp3k.i.optimole.com/T8ngVDQ-UVzugNAD/w:auto/h:auto/q:auto/https://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/woman-on-phone.png6681002VP LegaciesVP Legacieshttps://mljzsynwtp3k.i.optimole.com/T8ngVDQ-UVzugNAD/w:auto/h:auto/q:auto/https://vplegacies.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/woman-on-phone.png
According to recent research, 77 percent of people experience some level of anxiety when they talk on the phone. Forty-one percent of these people say that this anxiety is a regular occurrence.
There are lots of reasons for this anxiety, but for many people, it stems from not knowing what to talk about. For folks who want to have a personal connection with friends or loved ones but have a hard time figuring out what to talk about on the phone, here are some foolproof tips to try.
A good starting point when figuring out what to talk about the phone is to consider the context of a call. This includes asking questions like “Who’s involved in this conversation with you?”, “Why are they calling?”, and “How do I know them?”
The following are some of the most common people with whom you’re likely to have phone conversations on a regular basis:
First, friends. Conversations with friends can be about almost anything, from catching up and going over what each person has been up to since they last talked to making arrangements for a future get-together.
Ideally, talking to a friend on the phone should be the least nerve-wracking type of call. If it’s been a long time since the last conversation, though, it can be a bit awkward, especially in the beginning.
Next is family phone calls. Family phone calls are probably the most common type of phone call for most people. They can be anxiety-inducing, though, depending on which family member is calling and the type of relationship one has with that person.
Family phone calls can cover a wide range of topics, too. Like phone calls with friends, their primary purpose can be simply to catch up and see how the person is doing. They can also be geared toward planning an event or arranging an in-person meeting.
Plenty of people also find themselves having conversations on the phone with coworkers on a regular basis.
Phone calls with co-workers tend to have the least amount of variety — in most cases, if a coworker is calling, it’s to talk about something work-related. Sometimes, this can help to ease phone anxiety, since the parameters of the conversation are better understood and the person talking is (hopefully) less likely to drift into unknown or uncomfortable territory. If you are still having trouble, VP Legacies have a free online course that runs live daily on facebook an instagram that can show you how to connect with coworkers and colleagues.
Of course, if a person finds their job to be very stressful, the idea of taking a phone call from a coworker can cause a lot of anxiety.
Have a Couple of Prepared Topics
When a person is getting ready to make a phone call to anyone (a friend, a family member, or a co-worker), it helps to have a couple of topics prepared and ready to go before picking up the phone. This helps them to guide the conversation and avoid any awkward pauses. You can also check out VP Legacies course on building a relationship with yourself. It shows you how to be more confident and provide strategies to connect with people on a personal level.
The types of topics one prepares will vary depending on whom they’re calling (this is why it’s important to understand the context of the call first). Here are some ideas to consider for each type of call:
To connect with friends, here are some good topics to cover:
Current books they’re reading or movies/TV shows they’re watching
Future travel plans
How their kids or partner is doing
How they’re liking their job or school
Memories from the past involving the two of you (a game you once played, an activity you did together, etc.)
Many of the topics you can address to connect with friends also work for engaging with family members. The following are some other ones that are more family-specific that you might want to have prepared before your conversation as well:
How another family member (sibling, parent, grandparent, etc.) is doing
Plans for the next time you’ll all get together
A recap of the last time you all saw each other and how things went
Where you’d like to go on the next family vacation
When talking to coworkers on the phone, it’s important to make sure the conversation stays work-appropriate. Here are some topics to have prepared to avoid running into any problems:
An upcoming project and how your coworker feels about it
Whether they have any advice to help you improve your standing in the company and qualify for a new position/promotion
How long they’ve worked for the company and what they like the most about it
A previous work event, how it went, and how they’d improve it in the future
You can also look at e-learning courses online such as VP Legacies that offer ways to personally connect® with you friends, family, and colleagues as well as tips on connecting with yourself to be more confident and to balance a healthy professional and personal relationship while working. With Vp Legacies, reaching out to talk does not have to be awkward anymore.
Be Flexible and Go Where the Conversation Takes You
It’s a good idea to have some topics prepared to guide the conversation. At the same time, though, callers should also be flexible and willing to adapt if the conversation takes a turn they weren’t expecting.
If someone is too rigid and refuses to deviate from the topics they prepared beforehand, the person on the other end of the conversation might end up feeling uncomfortable. Failure to be flexible can also make it harder to create a deeper connection, which often goes against the purpose of the call (especially calls that are meant to be purely about catching up or checking in).
For folks who are looking to build deeper connections, especially with friends and family, casual phone calls can be a good tool to utilize. By reaching out to check in and see how someone else is doing, the recipient of the call knows that they’re important to the caller and will be more inclined to reach out to them in the future.
The following are some casual conversation topic ideas worth keeping in mind when making these calls:
What was the last funny video/TV show/movie you watched?
What do you do to manage stress?
What’s something you’re loving right now?
What plans do you have this weekend/for this upcoming holiday?
What did you do/where did you go last weekend?
What’s your favorite thing about work/school?
All of these are good topics to turn to when the conversation starts to lag. They also make great ice breakers to get the conversation started.
Figuring out what to talk about on the phone can definitely be a challenge. Keeping these tips in mind can make the process less anxiety-inducing, though.
By remembering these strategies, people who struggle with phone anxiety can feel more confident carrying on conversations. They might even find that, with enough practice, they actually enjoy talking on the phone.