I much prefer to do things via the telephone.  This preference seems to date me, but many times it is the fastest way to get things done.That of course depends on the cooperation of the person at the other end of the line; they too have to be willing to have a conversation versus an email or text.

When I was a kid we had a party line.  This meant that we shared a telephone line with someone else that lived in our town, in our exchange.  Our exchange was HEmlock, and when you told someone your telephone number you said,  “HEmlock 5-6789”, they knew what to dial.

Getting someone on the line back then was not a problem; you could easily have any number of people (your party line) listening to your conversation. Of course that was not desirable and required patience if they were using the phone and you wanted to make your own call.

We have come a long way with communication choices since then but we still need patience when we can’t immediately get the answer to our questions. We are demanding answers immediately, and in response we start thinking about how we will answer before a person is even finished asking the question. It is like being on a game show, ready with our hand posed over the buzzer.

This way of communication tends to leave us feeling empty, and frustrated.  Give yourself the permission to listen to the other person. It is surprising what happens when someone feels heard and understood.  The ability to respond to someone’s inquiry whether it is a complaint, request, or compliment can set the tone for the rest of your experience together. It can foster the building or breaking down of the connection.

I am drawn to those that hear what I am saying, can empathize and respond in kind.  I want to provide that experience for my staff and my customers, because connection and loyalty is part of the brand experience I am trying to create.

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