You CAN answer the phone in English. [+Worksheet]

By 10 May 2022 Non classé No Comments
you-can-answer-the-phone-in-English

Has this ever happened to you? A phone call comes in–and you realize it’s an international number.  You know the call might be in English–so you let it go to voicemail! 

Today, I’ll share a story with you about a real-life client of mine & strategies you can use to feel confident answering the phone in English.

Do you hide from phone calls in English?

Then let me tell you about a client of mine–we’ll call him Frederick. When I interviewed him about his biggest problems in English, Frederick told me he was afraid to answer the phone…

So afraid that when the phone would ring, he would go hide in the bathroom to avoid the call.

I’ve avoided phone calls too! Answering the phone in French can be hard for me. And, do you know what else? 

You would be surprised at the number of people who have told me the same thing.

And a lot of smart, competent people stay stuck like this for a LONG time. 

But here’s the thing: hiding in the bathroom instead of answering the phone hurts you.

You can’t make business connections.
You might annoy people trying to reach you.
Hiding in the bathroom doesn’t look professional.

Every time you avoid your problem instead of fixing it, it makes you feel…less. Not credible.

Most importantly: You deserve better! 

I’m passionate about helping people like Frederick–and you. 

Let’s make a promise to ourselves: no more hiding from the phone.
Not in the bathroom–or anywhere else.

You can do it–Even if you’ve been avoiding phone calls in English for a long time. 

How? 

Read on for great strategies and phrases you can use.

And watch the video to hear these in real-life English.


Get the worksheet to test what you learn in this lesson!

Did you know that I’ve made a worksheet to go with this lesson so that you can practice everything you see here today? I want you to make this part of the English you actually use in real life!

GET THE WORKSHEET: Make sure you practice these expressions so you can use them in real life with this worksheet made for you by a Neurolanguage coach.


Index:

1. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #1: Be prepared!
2. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #2: Know EXACTLY what to say first.
3. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #3: Focus on the other person in the conversation.
4. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #4:YOU decide how long to stay on the phone.


1. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #1: Be prepared!

Start by being prepared. I’m a Neurolanguage coach–so I know how important it is to reduce pressure when you want to speak well. 

Have a notebook or notepad at your desk.

This allows you to take notes about your client–and even to call them back later with more information. (We’ll talk about that later!)

Have a plan for picking up the phone. 

Start by imagining your success!
You’re at your desk. The phone rings–a call in English–and it’s ok. You’re ready.

You take a deep breath.
And you pick up the phone before the third ring…
Yes, there is time to breathe–and think.

When you start with a plan, visualize success and bring down your energy just a bit, you will change the way you feel when you answer the phone. And that will change the way you speak! 

Because even if you know exactly what to say, if you’re too nervous to say it, well, you may find yourself hiding in the bathroom.

But now that you’re feeling more relaxed, are you feeling ready for some great ways to start your phone conversations right? 

Also check out my lesson: Your Plan for Stressful Meetings in English.


2. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #2: Know EXACTLY what to say first.

Here is some brain-friendly advice from a Neurolanuage coach (me). 

Learn a few phrases that will make all your phone conversations a lot better.

Know exactly what you will say when you pick up–and practice that.  Here are a few examples of what you can say. 

For a simple greeting when you may already know the person calling you, you can say: 

“Good morning, this is Christina Rebuffet.”

Or if it’s after 12 noon, say:

“Good afternoon, this is Christina.”

You can also introduce your company where appropriate…and even ask how you can help.

Like this:

“Good afternoon, this is Kim at Fantastic corp. How can I help you today?”

How will you answer the phone in English?

Let me help you the way I help people like Frederick learn to be ready to pick up the phone–in English.  Sign up to get the worksheets I create to help you with your business communication–in English. Sign up to get a worksheet to help you prepare for phone calls here.


3. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #3: Focus on the other person in the conversation.

Great! You’ve taken your first step towards going from scared to super in phone conversations. Now you can focus on the other person–instead of how you feel about speaking English.

Your first goal is to make sure you know who is calling, what company or department they’re from–and what they need. 

They might tell you. But they might not.

Or you might not understand right away.

Here are some polite ways to show the other person on the phone you’re listening and paying attention. 

If you didn’t hear the person’s name (or they forgot to introduce themselves) say:

“Sorry, I didn’t get your name–could you repeat that?”

This could mean that you didn’t hear their name–or that they didn’t say but that you’re asking politely. 

To find out what company or department they’re calling from say:
“Can I ask what company you’re calling from?”

or 

“Which department did you say you were calling from?”

You can use the second example if the person said what department they were in. But you can also use this phrase even if the person forgot to tell you–as a polite way of asking.  

You’ll also want to know what they need or what they’d like help with. 

Do you know that native speakers restate others’ problems all the time?
It’s a way of making sure you really understand the person you’re speaking with.

It makes you sound like you’re listening. It’s an important communication skill. 

Here’s how to do it:
“Alright, so if I understand you correctly, you’re having a problem with your server.”

Or you could say:

“So just to make sure I’ve got all the details: you’re having a problem with your server and need someone to fix it quickly.”

Do you want to make sure you have all these expressions ready at your desk the next time the phone rings? Sign up to get this with this worksheet made for you by a Neurolanguage coach.


4. Scared to super on the phone: Strategy #4:YOU decide how long to stay on the phone.

Congratulations! You’ve made some incredible progress.
You picked up the phone! 

You answered in a professional and confident way. 

And you learned who needs what.

Sometimes just having the courage to answer the phone and the preparation to say the right thing is enough to get you started.

But you may not feel ready to stay on the phone for 30 minutes–and that’s ok! 

You could say:

“Ok let me just make sure I’ve got everything written down.”

And take a minute to write a few notes in that notebook we talked about. 
This helps you put all your facts in one place.
It also gives you time to pause the conversation–take a breath. It slows things down.

Remember: slowing down is ok!

You can also offer to call them back if you think that preparing for your conversation can help.

This might be true if you need more information.
It might also be true if you just need to prepare for the conversation to be more confident in English. You can say:

“I’d like to look into that and get back to you. Would it be possible for me to call you back this afternoon?”


5. Congratulations–you’re ready to try it.

You’re prepared, so you will be more calm and confident and ready to speak on the phone.

You know exactly what to say first, so you’ll start off with confidence, and make better business connections.  

And you know you can pause the conversation if needed and come back with more information.

How will you feel when you can answer the phone with confidence in English? 

GET THE WORKSHEET: Make sure you practice these expressions so you can use them in real life with this worksheet made for you by a Neurolanguage coach.


Why not start practicing today?

In the comments, write down exactly what you’ll say when you answer the phone in English from now on.

You’re making a small step that can make a big change in your English and your business.

If you learned something from this lesson, please share it with your coworkers & friends. You can send your message to them in English for more practice! 

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Do you want to learn to speak up the smart way and say “no” to work horror stories in English.  Don’t miss out on my next lesson in this series.

Do you want to avoid “embarrassing English” moments at work?  

Are you ready to feel confident, credible, and competent in business situations in English?

I’m passionate about making and sharing new lessons to help you reach your Business English goals, so you can reach all your goals.

If you want to get all my future lessons, videos, worksheets, plus my English Habit Starter Kit to make it feel easier to learn more each day, sign up here. 

See you for the next lesson in this series!

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