Last Updated on by Elena Ciobanu

Expanding Our Comfort Zone

Here at Hearts & Minds we need to make a lot of phone calls. We respond to people who express an interest in volunteering with us, and potential donors. We also call organizations where we can run our free Youth for ChangeSM and Seniors for ChangeSM,programs, in addition to the organizations we’re already working with.

Phonaphobia?

Many people are uncomfortable making calls.

At our all-volunteer organization, no one is pressured to do anything they don’t want to do. But I gently encourage everyone to go beyond their comfort zone.

I might say something like, “This is a valuable skill. We’ll show you ways to be more effective. Being comfortable and effective on the phone will help you in future job searches. It can even help your social life. Would you like to try it? If you’re getting too nervous or just tired of it, you don’t even have to explain why, we’ll switch you to something else.”

Hearts & Minds volunteer, Lorraine gives personal advice on finding a level of comfort when speaking on the telephone.

“No Fear” Phone Calls

Making phone calls was a necessary part of my daily requirements at my very first job. I was aware that I had to do this, but I couldn’t help being nervous and shaky before picking up the receiver. I was afraid to make mistakes or say the wrong thing so much so that I did in fact butcher my first introduction.

In the call I just described, the person on the line heard my nervousness and was amused to my surprise. This immediately put me at ease.

My experience shows the power of expectations, something you can turn to your advantage in life.

Please don’t feel intimidated when making phone calls, just take a deep breath, remain calm, and be yourself. The people you are calling most likely want the information you have to offer, so they will probably be kind and give you their full attention.

In the rare case when someone is rude, it’s usually their problem, and no reflection on you. This insight can be helpful throughout your life.

Specific techniques

Take a deep breath before dialing.
Be yourself, sound pleasant.
In the rare chance that someone is irritated/angry remain in control by maintaining a calm/pleasant demeanor.
If you do slip up, don’t allow it to negatively affect the call. Instead correct it tactfully and move on.
Always have in mind what you want to say…write it down if necessary! (But don’t sound like a robot!)
Making calls gets easier with time and practice.

It’s good to expand your comfort zone in many ways:

Why good things are outside our comfort zone

We hesitate to do good things because we think we’ll embarrass ourselves. We assume that others will resent what we do or that it’s just something we can’t do well.

After thinking it through, if we decide that this is something where both others and we can benefit, there may be good reasons to move beyond our comfort zone.

How to move expand your comfort zone

It’s actually fairly simple. Think about what you and others can gain. If it makes you nervous or you just don’t feel like doing it, set yourself the goal of doing just a few minutes. You can offer yourself a small reward for this. Then, do a bit more and continue building on your growing comfort.

The advantages of this

As we move outside our habitual comfort zone, we’ll get more comfortable with new activities. With practice we’ll also get better, and our prospects for success will grow. We’ll gain the confidence to extend our comfort zone in other valuable ways, as well.

A higher level of comfort zone

It’s easy for any of us to get caught up in our day to day lives, our jobs, families, the usual activities around the house and some time for leisure. That’s all good, but we can be thinking beyond that, searching for and finding ways to have an even better life in a much better, more sustainable and beautiful world.

As I’m learning, there are shortcuts to help us attain more of this more quickly. More on that in upcoming in this blog, updated each Tuesday.

A way you can can make a very big difference:

You Can Help End Global Hunger and Poverty
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