Now is the time to plan. We're always juggling so many things - planning for the future like finding new clients, attending to current clients and the list goes on. High-stress levels can result in a tense situation which impact on our communication style. A situation which may usually cause minor irritation could become a breaking point when feeling stressed.
Here is how to stay calm and collected in any situation.
- Have the courage to step back
Stressful situations can become quite emotional.
- Gather your thoughts before responding
If you're communicating via email, it's easy to hit send before calming down from an angry state.
The technology was supposed to make our lives easier. Use technology as a tool to assist you in your working day. Replying to an email that causes you stress doesn't have to be done immediately. Take control of the situation by allowing yourself some time out.
- Change perspective
Step into the shoes of the person that you're having difficulty communicating with and see, hear and feel the situation through their eyes, ears and emotions.
- Analyse your options
Depending upon your situation, here are some questions to consider:
- What is the most appropriate response to the situation given what you know about the other person's communication style?
Do you have enough information to make an informed decision?
Have you heard what the other person has to say without becoming defensive or shifting into win-lose thinking?
- Logic instead of emotion
View at the facts and detach them from the emotional element of the situation.
To be capable of doing this, it's essential to look after yourself so that when a difficult situation arises, you're less likely to be affected by the emotional component.
Some strategies include:
Breathing deeply from the diaphragm
This helps to relax the muscles and allows oxygen to flow to the brain so that you can think in a more rational manner.
This could be as simple as a walk that can clear the head while applying nervous energy in a productive way.
Become an objective observer
Hold back from the situation and reality it as if you were a detached observer.
- Master of actions versus reactions
You can control how you feel and react to any situation. You cannot control how others feel or react. So it's important that you do what you can within, always know that your circle of influence.
By recognizing and checking your reactions, intentions and assumptions you're able to be the master of your actions.