5 Ways to Reduce Stress Using Communication Skills
It’s one thing for an individual in an organization to find themselves in a state of stress. But when events occur bringing on stress for most everyone in an organization, now you have a critical challenge on your hands. This stress spills out into families and the communities causing more critical and, in some cases, disastrous challenges. Seeing life from someone else’s perspective takes an open mind, active listening takes effort, and understanding takes commitment. These can take time. What are some additional elements that can help?
Disclosing that I use assessments in my work, whether you use ours or others, assessments:
- Are one of the quickest ways to build in roads into less stressful communication, better understanding, and active listening.
- Group debriefs can be fun while being enlightening
- Can create a language having a set of terms to discuss behavioral differences helping teams understand the inherent strengths and potential areas for conflict that commonly arise in group situations
- Have a lasting impact
- Provide self-knowledge that forms the foundation for strategic thinking, leadership, and EQ
By the way, here’s how committed I am to this concept, if you don’t want to work with me, get in touch and I can refer you to any number of my colleagues. No kidding!
- Clarify! Clarify! Clarify!
The way we normally communicate has changed drastically. Have you noticed? Elements we generally relay on like expression, hearing levels, body language, and even eye contact may be severely reduced in many of our encounters. It is a good idea to ask questions and rephrase now more than ever. This will aid in understanding, help us avoid miscommunication, and reduce stress.
- Be Accountable
Pay attention to your stress levels before engaging in communication. This is particularly true for those conversations you know may produce conflict. Be accountable for asking yourself before the conversation, “What do I need to bring to this conversation that can help bring about a winning situation for everyone.” Be accountable for managing your stress during the conversation. Learn to recognize the onset of your stress and take measures to control it.
- Use a Powerful Question
Recently, my colleague, Nancy Spivey, brought an article by Gwen Moran to my attention, that is well worth the quick read. The Cliff’s Notes version is that a mediator learned to use the phrase, “Tell me….” Specifically, “Tell me more about the problem.” Or “Tell me what you need.” This seemingly “magical” phrase is not only open ended, but it relays an element of caring. How many times have we heard our doctor say, “Tell me where it hurts.” Or a counselor, coach, or therapist say, “Tell me what you are feeling right now.” Or a friend say, “Tell me how I can help.” The phrase indicates that, “I’m interested, and I want to hear what you have to say.” Of course, the saying, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” must be infused into every piece and type of communication.
- Speak Up!
Let people know where you stand on issues. Everyone has opinions and yours counts. Recently, I had a coaching client who was trying to be everything to everyone. She never spoke up or questioned any organizational changes. Leaders don’t need “yes people” and being one is not the way to build your career. Leaders need other ideas, concepts, and opinions to lead. One size does not fit all when it comes to running a business, leading a team, or building a career. Trying to be everything to everyone is not being you. When you do this, people don’t know you and you disappear into the woodwork. Clear and open communication is the key to being a leader, helping leaders lead, growing a business, and building a career.
Thank you for reading this blog. Tell me what you need to improve communication in your organization. Let’s Get Started!
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