Conquering the fear of phones
Posted by Dave Barrett
Get online writer
February 15th 2012 at 10:22
An interesting conversation with Leys Geddes, Chair of the British Stammering Association (BSA), has made me aware of how difficult it can be for people who stammer to use the phone.
Talking on the phone is something most of us take for granted. But for people who stammer, just the thought of using a phone can be stressful, which might explain why many try and avoid the situation.
However sometimes you just have to make a call – and the BSA has lots of advice tips and strategies to help people overcome their fears.
They recommend preparation before making a call – rehearsing opening lines and writing down phrases and key questions to help calm nerves.
Making easy calls to familiar people before tackling more difficult ones to strangers is another good idea.
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But most of all, the BSA recommends practice. Why? Because the more you use the phone, the more confident you become.
But it’s not just people who stammer or stutter that can learn a thing or two. The association has lots of tips for listeners. And at the top of the list is patience. Don’t rush a stammerer or be tempted to finish their sentences – because they do actually want to speak.
Advice such as ‘slow down’, ‘take a breath’, or ‘relax’, really doesn’t help either. But a relaxed and accepting attitude by the listener does. Finally, try to focus on what the person is saying – not how they are saying it – because it’s usually worth hearing.
For more advice, visit www.stammering.org/telephone.
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