Next time you find yourself on the phone at work, pay attention to what you are doing. Are you sitting/standing at your desk staring the floor or gazing over to the wall? (For the purpose of this post, we’ll assume that you are not relying on information from your computer). Maybe you are doodling, tapping your pen on the desk or if you are anything like our Director of IT you might even find yourself bouncing a tennis ball around. Here at AM Transport, it is not uncommon to see a team member walking around the office while talking to a customer on his or her headset. Some of them have been known to go into smaller offices where they can be seen walking in circles. Others take it to a whole new level. It had been rumored for some time that our President could be spotted juggling during longer phone conversations. I had to see it for myself:
It seems there is a method to their madness. Phones prevent us from experiencing the face-to-face feedback that we are accustomed to. As a result, our brain attempts to “fill in the gaps” by taking our emotional responses to conversation and transforming them into physical movements. In other words, the behaviors described above are essentially involuntary displays of social conditioning. They are natural responses to the missing non-verbal cues. So all of us here at AMT can breathe a sigh of relief. We are completely normal! Right?
Another interesting tidbit: Did you know that movement has been found to be associated with higher creativity? So if you can pull off some cartwheels during your next conference call, you might blow your colleagues away with your ideas. Or you might take a blow to your head if you fail to adequately prepare.
So whatever it is that you do while you are talking on the phone (assuming it does not pose a threat to your co-workers), keep it up! It is part of what keep us connected the person/people on the other end of the phone and can make our contributions more creative!
To read more about movement and communication click here:
You Know Those People Who Pace While on the Phone? Science Says They Have It Right, After All (Popomaronis, Tom. 2016. Inc.com)