I am often asked why include effective communications as part of a wider personal resilience support programme? When you think about it, what is the most difficult part of your work day? I bet it has to do with communicating.
Most of the stress that we face at work involves difficult communication in some form or another. We aren’t so worried about how we do things because we all do our job pretty well. We tend to worry more about how we communicate what we are doing and what others might think of us if we communicate it poorly.
Whether it is communicating with challenging customers, handling difficult colleagues, running meetings, or presenting to a large audience, all of these things involve communicating. Do it badly and it makes our life less than favourable.
To have good communication skills you not only need reasonable grammatical knowledge (and I don't so I rely heavily on professor Google) but you you also need to control your emotions during these types of communications.
To control your emotions you need to control your thoughts. That is what I learned to do effectively and efficiently as a crisis negotiator. To control my thoughts which controlled my emotions so that I could quickly and successfully engage with a person in crisis.
A few quick tips for you;
- Don't say the first thing that comes into your head when emotional because it will always be wrong.
- Take a long, slow, deep, quiet breath to control your adrenaline before meetings and during difficult encounters.
- Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Slow things down so that you remain calm and in control.
- Don't ever send an email when you are emotional. Walk away and come back to it when you have calmed yourself.
- Don't joke - Jokes are for movies and stand-up comedy, not for your correspondence.
- Read your emails and speeches at least three times, our brain works in threes and you will pick up on errors at each reading.
- Be quick to apologise if you made an error of judgment in something that you said or sent.
- Be respectful and humble in your communications.