While you may have a perfectly laid out communications plan for your company, daily stress that occurs in the workplace can put a halt to the strategy that you want to implement. Remember that when you are stressed, you are more likely to misinterpret the words and actions of others, you tend to send off-putting nonverbal cues, and you may have lapses of knee-jerk reactions when confronted by other people.
You can improve communications in the workplace by staying calm even if you are under pressure. There will always be something that you will worry about. There will always be a deadline that needs to be met, and there will always be a difficult client to interact with. Make sure that no matter the situation or stressor, find a way to manage your emotions, while at the same time, making sure that you think on your feet.
In order to fully improve communications at work, it is important to utilize calm communication strategies when stress occurs. Always keep your stress in check. Here are some of the ways you can stay calm even during stressful situations in the workplace:
1. Take a moment to calm yourself down.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a breath before continuing with a conversation. You may opt to inform your colleague or staff member that you need a bit of time to debrief and gather your thoughts before you get into the conversation again. Not only will this help you think more clearly, it prevents you from exploding or totally shutting down from the interaction.
2. Recognize stress when it occurs.
Recognition not only helps you take a moment to breathe before you let the stress get the better of you, it also helps improve communications in the workplace. Remember that your body will actually physically tell you when you are starting to get too overwhelmed with the stress. Your hands or teeth may be clenched. Your breathing may be shallow and quick. You may even have a headache or muscle pains. Do not disregard what your body is trying to tell you.
3. Concentrate on one point instead of bombarding others with different things you want to say.
Not only will information overload confuse your listeners and may even cause friction, it can cause you additional stress because no matter how hard you try, you might not feel like you are getting heard. Stick to one point and give supporting information on that one thought. Don’t waffle on to other points before first gauging if the listener is actually hearing and understanding what you are saying.
4. Make sure that your delivery is clear.
In order to improve communications, make sure that you are delivering your message clearly. Make sure your tone is even and controlled. Make eye contact and speak clearly. Also, keep your body language open and relaxed.
In order to truly make certain that you get your point across, wrap up your message with a summary and then stop talking. Don’t hesitate even if the room is left silent. The important thing is to make sure that you are understood.
5. Find humour in your situation.
Lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story. When humour is used appropriately, it is a fantastic way to relieve stress in the workplace so that effective communication can be made possible.
6. Learn how to agree to disagree.
“Agree to disagree” may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for good reason – it certainly helps calm down tense and stressful situations. Take a break from the stress and move away from the discussion by simply coming to the conclusion that not everyone will agree with everyone.