The chips are down. You feel the pressure rise. In these situations, do find yourself engaged in verbal fencing matches with colleagues or supervisors? Do you feel like you just can’t get your point across? Or are you able to communicate effectively?
How we talk and how we listen are always important. But when the pressure is on, this becomes even more important. During stressful times at work, it it’s easy to create misunderstandings that result in adding more stress to the situation.
At times like these, it is helpful to re-examine how we interact with co-workers and learn to communicate effectively.
How to Communicate Effectively Under Pressure
Whether we are communicating with employees, colleagues, or supervisors, the three principles for effective communication remain the same:
- Speaking carefully
- Listening attentively
- Responding accurately
When speaking, remember that listeners are not mind readers. So specifically define the problem or name the feeling. After all, if we leave them guessing it is unlikely that others will know what we are wanting or feeling.
As we all know, sometimes it is necessary to stop talking to hear what others are saying. So when you’re listening, put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand their perspective. It is not necessary to agree with the other point of view to understand or empathize with it.
When responding, resist the temptation to pile on by discussing only the issue at hand. Getting off the track and bringing up old issues is not only confusing, it can be irritating. Of course, don’t say things you don’t mean. And definitely don’t make heat-of-the-moment threats you know you won’t carry out when more calm.
For these and other tips on communicating effectively under pressure, check out this infographic from the University of Illinois Extension. As you’ll learn, when everyone involved in the communication process speaks and listens carefully. This conversational scenario makes it is easier to share perceptions and feelings while moving toward understanding one another and solving problems.
When the pressure is on, stop. Breathe. And communicate effectively.