Regardless of the type of communication that you find difficult, you will be pleased to know that there is an easy way of controlling what you say and how you say it if you adhere to a few simple rules. The most difficult communication is of course our response to someone who criticises us or our work. For those who have followed my blog you will know how to do this already.
Maintain your self-control, don’t get mad or frustrated, and trust your instinct more so than your head. Why? When someone says something that irks us, we have an automatic emotion alert mechanism that is linked to our fight or flight response. Your neurons will race across to the right side of the brain therefore any logic thought stemming from your frontal lobe has vanished. As your emotions are heightened your brain will be sending the wrong signals, albeit doing so in your defence.
Rule one – don’t say the first thing that comes into your head because it is always wrong. Go with your gut instinct, not your head. Know that it is actually your head that gives you your gut instinct, it’s just a different part of your brain that isn’t affected by emotions.
Rule two – Take a deep breath, make it a quiet breath though. Getting oxygen to your brain is important so that you can think clearly. Oxygenated blood is thinner than blood containing cortisol which was released into your blood when you got angry. The neurons (electrical signals) will work better in thin blood. Taking a breath will also allow you time to think about what to say.
Rule three – Maintain a clam external demeanour. 55% of communication is non-verbal so if you clench your fists or fold your arms you will look like you are ready to fight.
Rule four - Your tone of voice and volume must be controlled. The way something is said is five times more important than what is actually said, even more so if the communication is over the phone. If you raise your voice, the other person will raise there’s. Keep your tone and volume just under the other person’s level and they will come down to your level.
Lastly, you are the most important person but it is important that they don’t see this. Be humble and you will be respected for your ability to communicate effectively while under attack.