Susan & Renée
“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” —Winnie the Pooh
Communication has always been hard. Whether you are relying on homing pigeons or high speed internet the barriers to successful communication in organizations abound. When you add stress to the mix (say, a health pandemic, economic crisis, social tension), communication becomes even harder.
All that stress activates our internal alarm system which interferes with our ability to speak thoughtfully, listen attentively and hear fully. Instead, our primitive nervous system takes over and becomes laser focused on staying safe from danger, be it real or perceived.
When your brain’s resources are focused on protection, it is harder to hear details, grasp nuances, and balance priorities. In other words, we develop fluff.
When everyone has fluff in their ears, miscommunications multiply. Misunderstandings require companies to redirect time and resources to resolve these issues. Fluff is not conducive to smooth business operations.
If there was ever a time when we need to speak thoughtfully and listen attentively that time is now.
This means we must be deliberate about managing our alarm system when it goes off and hampers more than it helps. There are numerous strategies for doing this but here are a few that you can use right away.
Deep breaths: Square breathing is one breathing exercise that is easy to remember and can be done anywhere.
Physical activity: Find an excuse to run up and down the stairs, do jumping jacks, or dance.
Muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation allows you to release the tension that is stored in your muscles.
Regular practice of these techniques is essential. When we don’t address the stress produced by our alarm system, our body holds onto it. This accumulation leads to headaches, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal distress and heart disease.
We must remember to handle the stress response, not just the stressor.
It’s safe to assume that your employees and co-workers are under stress right now as well. By managing your own internal alarm system, you’ll help create a calmer environment, save your team valuable time and energy, and keep fluff levels at a minimum.
What are ways that you calm your alarm system?Join us on Facebook and share what works for you.