22 Aug Communicating in Difficult Situations
Have you been there? That moment when you’re in conversation with another person and their communication style makes for a very difficult encounter?
Maybe it’s the tone of their voice? Or maybe it’s their body language or the words they use?
In a recent communication skills workshop, participants shared their experiences dealing with difficult behaviours when engaged in conversation. They also generated a fantastic list of tips. And we think their ideas are much too great to keep to ourselves!
Here’s what participants said helped them make it through difficult conversations:
- Listen actively – universally, people want to be heard.
- Minimize internal and external distractions.
- Be present.
- Slow down.
- Give your full attention.
- Smile or use appropriate facial expressions.
- Understand the power and impact of matching and mirroring body posture.
- Pay attention to personal space.
- Be concise and use words selectively.
- Be open.
- Think before you speak.
- Refresh your communication skills.
- Make sure your voice matches what you are saying.
- Engage in timely, assertive discussions.
- Avoid the use of devices when in conversation – put away your phone.
- Treat people as equals – don’t talk down to people.
- Be respectful.
- Be inquisitive and ask good questions.
About the Author:
Gerard Murphy owns Barefoot Facilitation Inc. – a consulting company based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Follow Gerard on Twitter @trybarefoot.