If you love to hear yourself talk, you may ramble on the phone. And that can prevent you from learning from others.
To conduct better phone conversations, wait an extra second before you respond to a speaker. By providing that extra moment of silence, you may find that the other person chooses to open up to you.
Follow these techniques to remain attentive on the phone:
Preview what you want to cover. Early in the conversation, give an overview of what you want to discuss. This provides a road map of what follows and helps both parties stay on track. Example: "I'm calling to get some information on the Smith account, hear what you thought of yesterday's meeting and give you a heads-up of a new procedure we're adopting."
Apply the "Stop Rule." Stop after you ask a question. Then wait patiently for a response. This allows others to ponder your inquiry and give a more thoughtful reply.
Attach questions to statements. String together too many statements on the phone and you may lose your listener. Because you can't see others, you may not realize that they're tuning out. Rivet their attention by sprinkling questions into your conversation so that you give them ample opportunity to chime in. Examples: "Does this make sense?," "Am I explaining this clearly?" or "Do you have any questions?"