March 22, 2022
|By :
Kavya Agarwal

How to communicate under stress?

Table of Contents

    Effective communication is an art even in usual circumstances, so that it will become challenging in stressful situations. You are not alone if you find it challenging to communicate your thoughts or emotions in stressful situations.

    We all are prone to misunderstanding or getting too overwhelmed with our thoughts and feelings when under stress. Moreover, stress takes a toll on us, thus depriving us of our ability to understand and absorb happenings around us.

    Therefore, to be a good leader and a public speaker, you need to know how to retain your composure and convey your message even in stressful situations.

    We know that communication consists of three elements - speaking, listening, and responding. To ensure effective communication, you will have to pay attention to all three of them.

    1. Speak Carefully.

    Speaking is an activity where you are at the center. As you speak, it is your words that determine the course of the conversation. You should, therefore, exercise caution while you begin speaking. When under stress, you are more likely to struggle with articulating your thoughts, but that is when you need to be more careful. Few things that you should take care of while speaking under stress are

    i. Be specific - Do not beat around the bush. Exhibit clarity while making your point. The confusion inside your head should not be visible in your speech.

    ii. Speak less, say more - Even the greatest of speakers fail at achieving this. When you use your words economically, it will not only minimize the chances of making a blunder, but it will also make your speech impactful.

    2. Listen Patiently

    Many people consider listening as the most worthless part of communication without even realizing the power of listening. While speaking allows you to project your thoughts, listening will enable you to read the other person's mind. Listening with patience might not be the easiest thing to do when you experience stress. But, it will help you find ways to deal with stressful situations. Listening can benefit you when you-

    i. Listen to listen - Yes, do not listen to respond. Effective listening is when you listen to someone with an attention to understand their perspective. Absorb everything that is being spoken. If there are things that you want to point out, make a note of them, but do not interrupt someone.

    ii. Take criticism sportingly - "Only your well-wishers would care enough to correct you when you go wrong." There is no better way to improve than by acting on constructive criticism that you receive from others. At the same time, also make sure that you don't let that criticism get to your nerve.

    3. Respond Wisely

    Your response reflects how well you have done the listening part. After collecting and processing all the required information from a conversation, it becomes your responsibility to respond rationally. The stress might lead you to alter your response in many circumstances, but you should not let it happen. You shouldn't determine your response by anything else except your analysis of the conversation. While you respond, make sure that you-

    i. Voice your opinion- Many people confuse kind responses for agreeing with others. You can practice kindness even while you disagree with someone. Do not be afraid to voice your opinion just because that doesn't align with the others' perspectives.

    ii. Be your own critic- Listen to yourself carefully while you speak. You can help yourself like nobody else. Analyze how you respond under stress and attempt to do better when faced with similar situations.

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