Tag Archive for workplace communication
LISTENING WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH AND EMOTIONS ARE RUNNING DEEP
One if the most difficult listening skills to master is the ability to allow another to vent completely before you offer advice, coaching, solutions or comfort.
It takes fortitude to listen to complaints and grievances.
The last thing most people want to do is ask a distraught or upset person if there is anything more they want to say….BUT , you must!
Yikes! Who wants to hear more whining, groaning, complaining or tales of woe. As painful as it sounds, you must take the time to ensure the emotional storm has passed.
Jumping in to speak (even if there has been a long pause), before the last bit of sticky trash has come unstuck from the bottom of the barrel ensures you won’t be heard. It’s akin to pouring clean water atop a thin layer of mud and expecting it to remain clean and pristine. Not going to happen.
So you must ask, “Is there anything more?” And if there is, you must listen and then ask again. Not until the answer is a resounding (even if whispered), “no–that’s it” can you offer your thoughts.
Try it. It works.
Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up is now available at Amazon. Pick up a copy and get your bonuses–today! In the meantime, get your FREE 6-part audio series, The Power of Effective Communication simply by entering your name and email in the box to your right.
Distractions are a major cause of misunderstandings during a conversation. Help your listener by removing as many obstacles blocking the path to your message. You won’t be able to control internal filters such as mental or emotional instability, but you can be aware of physical distractions such as illness, hunger or fatigue if you’re observant, present and aware. Obvious anxiety or fear can be lessened by letting your listener know that you are aware of those emotions.
Help remove language barriers by speaking clearly, enunciating and avoiding excess words. Move to a different location if noise or visual distractions are present.
Copyright 2010 Allie Casey
Excerpt from Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say it and When to Shut-up!
Sometimes giving positive feedback is as challenging as giving negative feedback. The difficulty is sounding positive and specific not just enthusiastic and generic. Everyone is in the position to offer “gift-giving phrases”–boss to employee, co-worker to co-worker, salesperson to customer, parent to child, spouses, partners and so on.
Here are a few gift-giving phrases: (be specific with the details)
- You really made a difference by ___( sharing your expertise, pitching in to help…)
- I’m impressed with your____( ability to handle angry customers, insight into this project…)
- You got my attention with___( your interpretation of the research…)
- You can be proud of yourself for___(handling that misunderstanding with diplomacy….)
- One of the things I enjoy most about you is___(your ability to make others feel good…)
Share your own gift-giving phrases below.
Want more communication tips you can use immediately? First, put your name and email in the boxes in the upper right and get your Free 6 part audio series on communication. Second, pick up a copy of Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work-What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Lastly, give someone a gift today by using one of the phrases above. You’ll make the world a better place.
Sometimes it helps to have a quick formula that’s easy to remember, easy to post where you can see it and easy to implement. In touchy communication situations when emotions might thwart clear thinking try these 3 steps:
1. Observation – Observe the pace, voice, eye-contact and posture of your listener. Pay attention to emotions, intentions, and any mental or physical distractions. Match and step it down if emotions are high.
2. Adaptation – Shift your style to communicate in the way your listener likes to communicate. A small adjustment now saves time, money and effort later.
3. Confirmation – Verify that the translation and comprehension of your message matches your intention. (and be honest about your intention-is it aligned to your highest self?)
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