Feeling “Zoomed Out?” Why not pick up the phone?

#communication phone Zoom v Phone

One of the umpteen changes we’re getting used to in lockdown is how universal Zoom has suddenly become. In an unbelievably short space of time even the word has gone from being a noun to a verb, to “Zoom” is almost as common as to “Google”. You may have noticed when setting up appointments with clients or prospective customers, that Zoom has almost become the default communication preference in an age where the coffee shop has become a fond but distant memory.

However, while Zoom has undoubtedly been a Godsend for so many people forcibly cut-off or isolated, many are now feeling “Zoomed out”, they’ve had enough of Zoom.

And while many of these reasons, understandably, are more to do with the lack of human interaction rather than a fundamental fault with the system, there’s little doubt that some of the reasons are linked to the service itself.

I use Zoom for both coaching and training and it has some really good features which have helped keep our business going in these difficult times. However, for 1-1 coaching and conversations, the phone is invariably my first choice. Here’s why:

  1. Less intrusive. One of the issues many have with using Zoom is that it feels really intrusive. Because the majority of users are at home they’re often very conscious of their surroundings. Few can afford the luxury of an office at home so they’re usually working out of the spare room or on the kitchen table. And it’s hard to relax on Zoom when you’re wondering if you remembered to make the bed or throw yesterday’s sandwich away. Using the phone, it doesn’t matter what your working space looks like, people can’t see it!
  2. Your image. Many people hate looking at themselves on Zoom. Yes, it does have features that let you “touch up” your appearance but in an age where we can’t go to the hairdressers, that doesn’t always help. On the phone it doesn’t matter what you look like or what you’re wearing, you can swan around in your pyjamas with your hair all over the place, it really doesn’t matter.
  3. No stress. While ostensibly viewing another human, the reality with Zoom is that you’re essentially staring at your computer, often for an extended period of time. This isn’t particularly good for your eyes, your neck and shoulders, or most parts of your body, come to think of it. For this reason, some find that extended periods on Zoom leave them feeling agitated, tense and stressed. Whereas on the phone you don’t have to stare at anything, you can regularly change your position and move around.
  4. Energy. On Zoom you’re required to stay pretty still for extended periods that can actually drain your energy. Using the phone, however, you can stand up, move around, change positions, look at different things, whatever you want to do and still remain focused on the conversation.
  5. Note taking. Always a good idea when speaking to clients, current or prospective. This is an area where phone is probably even better than a face-to-face conversation. You can sit with your hands-free, and write as many notes as you want, whereas with Zoom you may feel bad not maintaining eye contact and not wanting to appear rude to the client.

The legendary speaker and educator, Earl Nightingale, once said, “If you want to be successful in life, simply watch what most people would do in a given situation, and then do the total opposite—nine times out of ten, you’ll receive greater rewards”. In a world where the phone often seems the poor relation of Zoom, texts and emails, you may find that using it more is a more pleasurable and productive experience.

Yes, Zoom can be great, but the phone can be greater, why not pick it up and go all retro?