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Effective Communication Skills: Managing Stress

Stress Management Tips

Effective Communication Skills: Managing Stress

The skill area of “managing stress” is not often included in discussions related to communication skills.   In my professional opinion, the ability to control or modify strong negative emotions such as anger and anxiety, is a powerful way to enhance communication.  If you are not aware of the potential impact of these negative emotions, you can damage your communication abilities.  In small doses, stress can help you perform under pressure. However, when stress becomes constant and overwhelming, it can hamper effective communication by disrupting your capacity to think clearly and creatively and act appropriately. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to misread other people, send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk or reactive patterns of behavior.

How many times have you felt stressed during a disagreement with your spouse, kids, boss, friends, or coworkers and then said or done something you later regretted? If you can quickly relieve stress and return to a calm state, you’ll not only avoid such regrets, but in many cases you’ll also help to calm the other person as well. It’s only when you’re in a calm, relaxed state that you’ll be able to know whether the situation requires a response, or whether the other person’s signals indicate it would be better to remain silent.

Quick Stress Relief for Effective Communication

When stress strikes, you can’t always temper it by taking time out to meditate or go for a run, especially if you’re in the middle of a meeting with your boss or an argument with your spouse. By learning to quickly reduce stress in the moment, you can safely face any strong emotions you’re experiencing, regulate your feelings, and behave appropriately. When you know how to maintain a relaxed, energized state of awareness—even when something upsetting happens—you can remain emotionally available and engaged.

To deal with stress during communication:

  • Recognize when you’re becoming stressed. Your body will let you know if you’re stressed as you communicate. Are your muscles or your stomach tight and/or sore? Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow? Are you “forgetting” to breathe?
  • Take a moment to calm down before deciding to continue a conversation or postpone it.
  • Bring your senses to the rescue and quickly manage stress by taking a few deep breaths, clenching and relaxing muscles, or recalling a soothing, sensory-rich image. The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.
  • Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to diffuse stress when communicating. When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or amusing story.
  • Be willing to compromise. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone. If you realize that the other person cares much more about something than you do, compromise may be easier for you and a good investment in the future of the relationship.
  • Agree to disagree, if necessary, and take time away so everyone can calm downTake a quick break and move away from the situation. Take a stroll outside if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating. Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.

The ability to reduce one’s stress and modify strong emotion in the moment does take some practice.   Once you have mastered this skill, it is helpful in a variety of settings and will increase your ability to get your message across.   Keep practicing and remember to breathe…

Jonathan Dugger
Rich Dad Education Elite Trainer


7 responses to “Effective Communication Skills: Managing Stress

  1. Marcy Jewett September 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    These skills are helpful in all aspects of our lives. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Louis September 12, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Great stress coping skills.thanks alot

  3. harish September 12, 2013 at 8:15 am

    very useful & handy information
    harish mody

  4. edem September 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I loved everything I read today

  5. STEPHEN September 19, 2013 at 6:56 am


  6. livres pdf May 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Effective Communication Skills:
    Managing Stress | Rich Dad Education – Real Estate Blog <Loved it!

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