'Phone phobia' plagues Gen Z workers

Generation Z workers may be missing a crucial skill many other generations have taken for granted: talking on the phone, CBS News reported Aug. 1.

Experts say many young adults haven't developed proper phone skills due to the extinction of landlines and rise of smartphone usage among younger generations. In a recent survey of 1,025 Gen Zers in Australia, 49 percent said speaking on the phone makes them feel anxious, and 87 percent said they'd rather conduct an unpleasant task via text message instead of phone.

"It turns out that talking on the phone is a skill and, for decades, we didn't recognize that, because we all did it," Mary Jane Copps, who runs her own coaching firm on business communications, told CBS News. Ms. Copps has coached more than 15,000 workers on how to have effective conversations on the phone.

While anxiety around phone calls is increasing for younger generations, business operations are also changing, with phone calls becoming less prevalent in the workplace, Ms. Copps said. Still, the skill is still crucial for many workers to know, as hearing someone's voice on the phone helps develop trust and stronger relationships. 

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