Missing the mark in your communications can be very frustrating. Your actions are not matching your intentions and confusion or trouble ensues. Sometimes, it happens. To give yourself a good chance of avoiding miscommunication, give these approaches a try:
•Prepare for any work-related communications you have. Review ahead of time your purpose for communicating, what result you want from the communication, how the person(s) you will communicate with may react to what you say and what could go wrong.
•On a personal level, employ your emotional intelligence regarding how your communication may be received by the person(s) you will be communicating with.
•When communicating, stay centered. Don’t rush into a conversation or let pressure get you off center. Cultivate your ability to respond in the present moment to whatever occurs.
Good communication is an art, treat it as such. If you want some expert advice, check out my friend Diana Peterson-More’s book Consequential Communication In Turbulent Times as well as her articles – just right for these times – on Linked In.
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There are a range of experiences you can have in the situation these days: being on the front lines of response, dealing with illness, staying at home or something in-between. Do you find yourself reacting to these changes by feeling uncertain and anxious? That’s natural, when you are out of your comfort zone.
A lot has changed and you are facing a high level of unknowns. Fear is palpable and what the future will look like is anyone’s guess. To cope with these changes staying as centered as possible is essential. Find your new center amidst it all and create ways to get back there when things distract you. Maintaining focus helps as well. Create times of the day when you focus on certain things and stick with them. Allow that you may get distracted more than usual, but don’t let distraction take hold for too long. Manage your expectations as well. Keep them reasonable and nurturing.
You will get through this. Stay steady and our new normal will gradually emerge. Be well!
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The ability to discern where you expend your energy is critical now. If you are using all that you have to live and work, you don’t have extra energy for other people’s dramas or demands. You want to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your loved ones, get your work done and be where you can do the most good.
Are others’ issues or demands encroaching on you or stressing you right now? If your answer is yes, take some time to evaluate what is happening and what you want to do about it. There are ways you can set boundaries without being aggressive or nasty. If you do not have time or energy to answer a demand or to do something, state that clearly and kindly to the people involved.
Knowing what to say no to and what to say yes to will help you maintain balance and function effectively in these times.
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We have been through a big change. Time now to begin aligning with this new reality. Look at where you are right now. What frequency are you tuned into? Is it one of bewilderment, fear, peace, upset, acclimation, anticipation, seeking or something else? Where do you want to be? Perhaps your answer is that you want to be back where you used to be; however that is no longer possible.
Anxiety and fear will lessen as you bring yourself into the present and figure out how you want to be in this reality. By taking in what is happening, you can choose how to tune yourself into a frequency that works best for you.
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Big change can sometimes leave you feeling uncertain and unsettled. Your once familiar environment is looking different these days. New things are being asked of you, in order to keep your life and work going. Here are some tips on how to deal with feeling disoriented:
• Spend some time looking around and identify the major changes that have occurred.
• Check in on your emotional and mental states. What is going on there?
• Identify what you can do now to feel more comfortable with the changes that have occurred.
• Eventually, find acceptance of the world you are living in now. (You have no choice)
• Start to identify ways you can protect yourself and also thrive in your new environment.
Trying to turn back is futile. Moving forward helps you adjust to and accept the changes that have occurred.
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We’re in a different space now. All of us are adjusting. In times of change, it is good to check in with yourself periodically to assess how you are doing. Why? Because there are no routines or set paths. What was is not always relevant. Stress and anxiety are present.
Answer a few questions. What is important to you now in your life and work? What is in your best interest to do? What are the things that can dishearten or stress you? What makes you feel better? What must you get done? Once you have these answers, you can create a way to check in with yourself periodically and when you find yourself losing your center. After your check in, you can course-correct and get yourself back to center.
Checking in will help you set a new path that works for you and move you forward in the direction you want to go.
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Deliberate chaos is an interesting thing to look at. Do you see others creating or do you yourself create chaos? Chaos is confusion, extreme drama, disorder and even mayhem. People deliberately create chaos for many reasons – to maintain control by unsettling those around them, to avoid having to deal with something, to create energy that they can use for themselves or to cover up something they do not want others to see. They may do this consciously or unconsciously, but the effects on themselves and others are the same.
Take a look at creating chaos relating to yourself and observe those around you. What do you see?
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For many years, I studied personal growth and development with Lynn Andrews. One concept she taught was that of surrender versus sacrifice. The idea was that when an uncomfortable situation arose, you had choice regarding how to respond to it. Surrender, in this context, was accepting how things were and then choosing a response. Sacrifice was responding by harming yourself in some way – giving up on goals, not taking care of yourself, giving your power over to someone.
Say, you are in a circumstance where someone is saying you must do something that you do not want to do. First, look honestly at what is happening. Where do you have control and where do you not have control? If there are aspects of the situation where you have no control – surrender to them. If you have control, maintain it and avoid sacrificing yourself.
Can you see the power in surrender? It is being in the present moment and acting realistically. Once you surrender, you are fully present and can decide where to go from there.
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Are you enmeshed and fully engaged in your life and work right now? Being so can be a positive state and also, at times, a negative one. You may see yourself as active, vital and committed to your life and work – good for you! What happens, however, when your life and work entangle you in dramas, doubts, fear or uncertainty? At that point, you may want to detach a bit so you can regain your perspective.
Ways to detach include: getting to a place where you are alone, bringing your emotions back in from being all over the place, thinking about what is going on, observing rather than participating, reminding yourself of your values and reaffirming your confidence in yourself.
Detachment empowers you. Balance engagement with detachment and you will be better for it.
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Your skill as a communicator has a lot to do with understanding what goes on beneath the surface of an interaction you have with another person. Each person has hidden factors – emotions, fears, conditionings, negative experiences – that affect their interactions with others, as do you. These hidden factors can have a major impact on how you interact.
It may not be possible to readily identify these hidden factors in another. However, your awareness that they exist creates a “knowing” that goes beyond the surficial aspects of an interaction, helping you to stay away from negativity or friction. Try some observing of your communications with others. See if you can develop awareness of any hidden factors that are present. Examine the hidden factors that affect your interactions with certain people. In doing so, you will develop an awareness that you did not have before and your communication skills will sharpen and grow.
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