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Stress: The silent communication killer

Stress is the single most lethal enemy of communicating successfully. Stress and tension is poison for your mind, body and voice, and your ability to manage and control stress will determine whether you will succeed under pressure.
Let's have a quick look at how stress negatively impacts on your ability to perform and communicate at your best:

Your mental ability when stressed: Stress kills your thinking. When you become stressed your rational thinking ability diminishes vastly. Your mind may race to try and anticipate potential threats, your logical and rational thinking may go out the window, and under severe stress you may go completely blank. Under stress we also tend to think along narrow panicked lines and our creative problem-solving skills are radically diminished.

Your emotional reaction to stress: When you become stressed, your negative emotions become very whipped-up. We are all emotional ego-driven beings and when we are stressed it is the worst emotions that come to the fore: panic, terror, frustration, resentment, anger, disillusionment and fear. If we are emotional we cannot make sound rational strategic communication judgements and our communication becomes clouded and confused.

Your physical response to stress: Your body will always give away your state of tension and stress unless you learn to manage this "non-verbal leakage". Tension causes the body to look awkward and stiff and "comforting/ nervous gestures" will make it easy for your opponents to detect you are afraid.

Your vocal symptoms when stressed: The voice is a barometer for your emotions and when we become stressed your voice change radically. Your pitch may rise, your pace may speed up, your clarity disappears and your vocal tone can become hard, aggressive or hesitant. Under severe pressure we can all stutter and lack of vocal control signals the death knell in your professional credibility.

When a client, manager, boss or colleague sees you succumb to stress, it gives them more power over you. Your professional credibility is basically nullified. It is therefore essential that all excellent communicators learn to manage their stress effectively, rather than let the stress control their communication ability.

Corporate Intelligence Training teaches internationally-proven Intercostal Diaphragmatic Breathing techniques to help you to think under pressure, control your emotions and body language, as well as to give you the ability to control and leverage your voice under pressure. Once you have mastered these and other body language and perception techniques, you will finally be in control of the tension in your life. This will lead to greater and greater self-confidence and success on both personal and professional levels.

Corporate Intelligence Training offers corporate communication skills training can be contacted in Johannesburg on 011 467 4229, or in Cape Town on 021 434 5462.

Read more: stress, John French



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