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Archive for May, 2010

Integrity: Phone Personality vs. Real Life

We’ve all had the situation of being introduced to someone via the phone or email. We’ve probably also met people over the phone and followed up in real life soon thereafter. But why are so many people different and incongruous? Mostly, I’d note that people are complete duds on the phone and have a more nuanced, interesting personality in real life.

I’m not bragging when I say that I’m unusual in that I do an excellent job of conveying myself and my personality well on the phone. I have been successful at running very large projects remotely, by phone alone. I have been complimented on my phone skills, and when people meet me in person after speaking with me on the phone, I often hear: “I’m glad to see that you’re exactly as I expected!”

In contrast, I’ve noticed that other folks just aren’t comfortable on the phone, and it can take an Act of Congress to get someone who is uncomfortable to engage, open up, create a space for sharing, and begin to build personal trust by doing anything other than going belly-to-belly.

This being the digital age, “flat world”, global economy, etc. I wonder:
1) Should we have a term for integrity between phone/online personality and real life? If so, what would you call it?
2) Isn’t this a skill that should be taught & studied?

 


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