Communication in a Tough Situation
We recently came across a quote from a trainer of first responders:
"In emergencies, we tend not to rise to the occasion, but to fall to our level of training."
We were curious about the quote’s origin, but although we found it frequently cited in the training of firefighters and soldiers, it was always attributed to “Unknown.”
Well, our hats off to “Unknown.” The reason we teach communication as a set of observable, conscious skills is because thorough and reinforced training inoculates us against the pernicious effects of high-stress events. With proper training, we are far more likely to default to intentional, constructive communication behaviors, even when those around us may be “losing their heads.”
We want to know: Tell us about a time when you successfully used a conscious method of constructive communication when the going got toughest. Share your responses to the weekly discussion question here.
I believe it was Kipling that said something about being able to" keep your head when all about you are losing theirs". It is definitely hard to do that, and to focus on a positive path to resolution when people are angry, yelling, being personally insulting, or generally being totally unreasonable and off track of the real issue. Recently I was reminded of a conversation I had with my husband where I was relating a problem at work. Feeling very justified in reacting in the negative manner I had, to what was a personally insulting statement about me. My husband reminded me that I cannot change what others will say or how they will act, but only what I say back or how I react to their actions. That my using an equally negative comment was the wrong approach. He was right. This morning a similar thing occured, and my first thought was to react in an equally negative manner. This time however I took a deep breath, gave it to God, and handled it in a calm and non-confrontation way. That put the negativity back on the person making the negative comment.
3/14/2014 06:40:28 am
And it sounds like you are succeeding, Merry -- based on the story you shared. And who ever said success means nothing short of perfect? Getting more conscious more often is success!
3/11/2014 08:04:48 am
So true, and another layer to this issue is that so often we do our training on fair weather days when the metaphorical sea is calm. I constantly have to remind myself to try new things such as communication tools and processes when I'm not feeling completely comfortable and safe because my accelerated learning seems to happen when I'm in "stretch" not "comfort".
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