This time of year can bring out the best in people. It can also bring out the worst. Families, friends and work colleagues can get into communication cycle routines. Some share their unwanted opinions on topics such as politics or religion. Others just have annoying communication habits that seem to come out in the stress and excitement of the season.
To be prepared for potential communication conflict, here are a few tips.
1. Be Truly Present
Focus your energy on being engaged. Start by listening more than you talk. Lean in, look people in the eye and practice good listening skills. Be curious and ask questions. Say “tell me more.” And, be mindful of phone distractions. To stay truly engaged, it’s best to put it away.
2. Change your response
You can’t change how other people will behave, but you can change how you respond to them. If there is someone’s behavior you don’t like, don’t have to get angry, snarky or frustrated. Instead, choose to show some holiday grace.
Silence often works like a charm. Before things get tense, smile, walk away and have a positive conversation with someone else.
3. Breathe and Pause
If you find yourself getting stressed, focus on taking a breath and pausing. Take a time out and slow things down.
However you relax, find a way to take a step back and focus on what’s going well. Stay positive and do your part to prevent holiday communication conflict.
Betty Lochner is the owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in workplace communication and human resource issues. She is the author of 52 Communication Tips. To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offering visit the web site.
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