Not too long ago, before there was an iPhone and any mobile phone, the only phone we have was an ANALOG TELEPHONE complete with thick curly cord! Have you seen one? It’s an old desktop telephone that comes in black, beige or dark brown color, with a round disk in front for dialing. Yes, it was a DIAL telephone used to connect family and friends around the globe. And before Chat Rooms on Yahoo, Facebook, and Instagram, making new friends friends was only through PHONE PALS.
To meet someone, all you need is to dial a random number and pray for someone with a beautiful voice to take your call. Then try asking immediately within seconds, “Can I be your phone pal?” Whew, what were the chances, back then, of making strangers your friends or even lifetime partners? You have no idea about the person on the other line. You just simply guess by the sound of his or her voice their real age, true gender and how pretty are their faces. Oftentimes, you can get nervous and confused that you can simply hang up and dial another number. Sometimes you can get to engrossed that you end up writing down their number to a phone directory and eventually invite them for lunch or dinner. Of course, safety and security were so simple then. And the primary objective of having Phone Pals is simply to create new connections and establish new friendships.
One day, a friend taught me a trick on how to have more Phone Pals. First is to talk to the telephone like how you talk to a real person. Imagine a face to face interaction all the time. Treat the telephone like a human being more than just a device. Choose your words, tone, and pitch based on what you want to say and how you feel. Remember, it pays to be sincere. I did sound great on the other line, my friend confirmed. Regardless of how I look, it feels good to sound good! I actually kept doing it until my voice did sound great and I made a number of great friends just the same.
I believe it is very much the same in managing people. A member of your team is not a device nor a piece of equipment that can produce results for you on a voice prompt command. He is a human being. He has feelings, mind, and spirit. Talking to him requires a lot of thinking and practice if you want him to improve performance. Yes, it’s perfectly alright to get angry when things are not working as planned, but it is never alright to shout, curse, or humiliate anyone. On the other hand, if you are happy, there is no need to hide, because people can tell your sincerity by the sound of your voice.
Thanks to our Corded Desktop Analog Dial Telephone at home, I learned early the power of communication. Truly, all the devices and gadgets, we have and will acquire in this lifetime, will surely evolve in the hope of making life more simple in connecting more people from all parts of the world. But all these communication tools and equipment can never serve its ultimate purpose without the power of words. As leaders, we are provided with tools and opportunities to build new connections and establish stronger relationships. All we have to do is find our heart, mind, and talent to choose our words and find our good voice.
Mobile phones cannot break relationships, messengers typing words can.
Gadgets cannot damage a child, parents who lack words to comfort a child can.
A Gentle Answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.
Fernando R. Pacia,
Mechanical Engineer. MBA. Servant Leader.
Son. Brother. Husband. Father.
He learned leadership very early. His father passed away when he was barely three. He grew up embracing the responsibility of taking care of his mom and younger brother. Growing up he learned that true humility is the foundation of good leadership.