The Toughest Call Of All
I sat under my desk with my head in my hands, shaking with fear. I am shamed by the reason. But now I know how to deal with it.
My Chifley Square coffees with Andrew Cohen always leave me energised. We were chatting about when things go wrong, and the client gets upset. Andrew told me a story. “So the client called. I knew what he wanted, that he’d be pissed off, so I answered it and ….” That’s a key difference between Andrew and I. You see, he has courage. Particularly, the courage to:
Always take the tough call.
He never avoids them. He just picks up the phone and faces challenge.
All my life I have ducked and weaved to delay taking a phone call when I knew the other person was disappointed or upset with me. On one occasion, a client was after me following a disastrous article from an interview we set up. I got so freaked by the conversation I had to have with him, and knew he was trying to reach me, that I actually sat under my desk to hide from taking the call. My secretary walked into my office looking for me. I sat silent.
Now- that’s not good. That’s a little weird. It’s ridiculous! I’m not proud of it. But it happened. And not that long ago.
I have always admired those who answer the phone when they know it is a cranky me calling. I respect the backbone. Strength. Character. And it applies just as much to making that tough phone call, or having the guts to tell someone bad news.
I hate it, fear it, avoid it, delay it. Maybe it’s because I don’t want people to think poorly of me, or I don’t want to hurt others. Not sure- but what I do know is that it has caused me huge anxiety, wasted big time, damaged relationships and made me less effective.
When Andrew told me he always takes the tough calls, I took a powerful message from it.
Have the guts to stand up for yourself and your actions, and take the heat that inevitably will come from time to time.
Make a decision TODAY to ‘always take the tough calls.’ That means making the hard phone calls, having the tough conversations, answering the phone when you know you’re in for a butt-kicking.
Don’t follow my track-record of weakness and fear. Be strong. Stand tall. Step up. Take the tough calls. Always.