In today’s “never time to stop” world, we are always juggling so many things – like planning for the future, finding new clients, attending to current clients, meeting deadlines, and working long, stressful hours.
High-stress levels can result in tense situations which impact 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.
1. Have the courage to step back
Stressful situations can become quite emotional. Make a concerted effort to take a breath and step back.
2. Gather your thoughts before responding
This is a hard one. If you’re communicating via email, it’s easy to hit send before calming down from an angry state.
Technology like email was supposed to make our lives easier. But unfortunately, it’s fairly simple to hide behind an email, overreact, shoot and ask questions later. Use technology only 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.
3. 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. Listen before speaking.
4. Analyze 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?
5. Use 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 take care of yourself physically and emotionally 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.
Regular exercise. 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 think of it as if you were a detached observer.
6. Become a Master of actions versus reactions
You can control how you feel and react in almost any situation. You cannot control how others feel or react. So it’s important that you do what you can do within yourself to diffuse the situation.
By recognizing and checking your reactions, intentions and assumptions, you can remain calm and in control of stress filled moments.
If you found this post useful, please like and share. And subscribe to my blog to get notified of new posts.
Leave a comment if you feel so inclined.