Fire Up Your Communication with Clarification

Shaking hands  after disagreement to relieve stressMinimize the Stress of Conflict with Better Communication

So often when colleagues are disagreeing with each other, they rarely listen to what the other is saying. In today’s world, we are all so busy, it’s rare that people give each other their undivided attention.  To help diffuse a potentially volatile situation, do the following:

• turn off phones & beepers and give total eye contact to the other person

• be sure you understand exactly what the other person is saying. Rarely do we truly hear the message the first time.  If you are unclear, own it.  Say “I want to make sure I understand your perspective.  Could you please restate it in another way for me?”

That action alone will disarm someone, because they realize you truly want to hear them. We all have that basic need. Most people are delighted to elaborate on their viewpoint.

• While listening, if you find yourself getting more and more agitated, stop the conversation and clarify again, respectfully, carefully.  You could use phrases like:  “Can you elaborate more on that?  Please say more about____.”

Each time you do this, you honor the other person, you cool down and you actually clarify their viewpoint. You might also learn something new.  And best of all, you have diffused a potentially volatile situation that might have led to unpleasant working relationships. Listening well is key to good communication.

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.

Stress Express Tip: Complete What You Start

Get Fired Up By Handling Incompletions

Right now, examine your life.  How many projects are you working on simultaneously? How many books have you started and not finished?  How about unfinished articles you are reading or writing?  All of those are incompletions!

From Stress Express, image of messy home officeIncompletions drain large amounts of energy and actually create stress.  Anything from half-read newspaper to cluttered closets to the classic “to do” lists that never get finished; these are all incompletions.  Incompletions are a form of self-sabotage which can create anxiety, worry and tension.

At #Boss2011 this week, my friend Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive, talked about finishing.  In my book Stress Express, I have an entire chapter devoted to completion.  Robert Fritz wrote extensively about it in The Path of Least Resistance. 

Why?  Because we all know how important it is to maximize your effectiveness.  We all have a finite amount of time and energy and anything that drags us away from high productivity time needs to be addressed.  So if you are constantly feeling overwhelmed and like you have way too much on your plate, try these:

•  Check your desk right now.  What can you handle and FINISH in the next 10 minutes? Do it.  Record it as a success.

• Recycle newspapers and magazines you are no longer reading.  It’s ok if you didn’t read the whole thing.  Declare it done!

• Examine your to do list.  What items can you delegate?  What really does not need to be done?  Prioritize your list in terms  of high leveraged items– ones that will have greatest ROI and take action on them.

You’ll immediately observe a difference in your energy, and you will feel a greater sense of satisfaction, productivity and well-being.

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: https://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html

 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.

Do You Just Want to Scream You’re So Angry?

Have you ever watched a young child have a really spirited temper tantrum – where they jump up and down, stomp their feet, make fists and holler? And then ten minutes later, they’re just fine. They let go of the frustration, move on and get back to being happy. Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could deal with our anger that quickly?

Have you ever watched a young child have a really spirited temper tantrum – where they jump up and down, stomp their feet, make fists and holler?   And then ten minutes later, they’re just fine.  They let go of the frustration, move on and get back to being happy.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we adults could deal with our anger that quickly?

Temper tantrumYour body reacts when you are angry, from tense muscles to increased hart rate to accelerated breathing, soaring blood pressure, drops in blood sugar and more. It takes a long time for your body to return to its natural resting state. Prolonged stress and anger can lead to : heart attacks and stroke, memory impairment, stomachaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and even vision problems.

Tips for Handling Anger

1. Count to 10. Try it.  Just take time to simmer down and think about the consequences of losing your temper or reacting badly.

2. If you want to hit something, hit a punching bag at a gym or pound pillows.

3. Breathe deeply at least 5 times.  Put your hands on your abdomen, fill it up all the way and let it out…slowly.  Do this several times to regain control and calm your system.

4. Take a time out.  Those of you with young children in your life know how effective this can be.  When you are really upset or angry, remove yourself from the situation.

5. Get moving. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports reported that runners were 70 percent less likely to experience high stress and life dissatisfaction. So go work out somehow and let off your steam.

6. Forgive yourself and others.This is one of the most dramatic and liberating ways to release anger.    Liberate yourself from the energy it takes to hold negative resentments or hurt feelings against someone.  You don’t forgive for the benefit of the other person, you forgive for yourself.

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