We often forget to – or simply don’t – use our phones enough. I don’t mean to text, Snap, or tweet – I mean talk to someone. My second favorite thing to do after having a face-to-face conversation is to have a phone call to hear each other’s voice and feel each other’s energy.

I recently texted a client I haven’t seen since she changed jobs. Instead of responding by text she left me the most delightful voice mail. It reminded me how vital phone calls are to keep us connected.

Make the call

There are so many opportunities and reasons to pick up the phone. From catching up to avoiding long text conversations, from sharing good news to asking an important question, a phone call is often the right form of communication.

Make someone’s day

I am always happy to oblige when someone suggests a phone call instead of texting. “It’s so much easier than texting,” they often say. I am always delighted when I’ve sent a text, and the next thing I know, my phone is ringing. The call is worth a thousand texts. And I can tell how happy people are to accept my invitations to speak live.

Leave a great message

If you don’t reach the person, leave a great message. Make it personal, make it fun, say something that will make their day, explain the reason for your call, and let them know the best times to call you back. Let them know you’re looking forward to their call. Speaking of leaving a great message, make sure your voicemail greeting is warm and welcoming too.

Answer your phone

Answering a call – from someone you know or even someone you don’t – can lead to interesting conversations and new opportunities. Make it a habit to answer your phone more often.

Do it often to do it well 

Talking on the phone can be difficult for some people. It causes anxiety and makes some people nervous. But there is something about hearing each other’s voices that strengthens the relationship and allows you to engage on a deeper level. So do it often. As with all communication, practice is what improves our skills.