I spent much of my corporate career working remotely from my immediate supervisor. My comfort with this arrangement definitely helps my freelance business. I’ve had multiple projects where I never met the client face-to-face.
But there is one phenomenon you must learn to listen for when you aren’t in the room. I call it the Dead Phone Stare.
I coined this phrase while working for a charming gentleman who not only was remote, he was in sales. Marketing was not his thing. I think he understood about every other phrase I uttered. The good news? He pretty much left me to my own devices. The bad news? When I needed his approval for something, I practically had to hire a translator to explain what and why.
Thus, the Dead Phone Stare – the uncomfortable silence on the end of the line when the person you are speaking to is thinking, “WTH?” Often, I’d rephrase my thought and get a repeat of same. I was speaking into a huge communication void.
I have been careful in my consulting practice to avoid the Dead Phone Stare. In fact, I probably overcompensate. Now the person on the other end of the line is probably thinking, “Enough explanation. Get on with it!”
But not so much in my personal life. I recently stumped not one, but two representatives from my healthcare company by asking them how to file the reimbursement claim for the down payment on my child’s orthodontics. It was so silent on the other end even the crickets were struck dumb.
This post is part of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. See who else is Blogging from A to Z