Have you ever shut down during a conversation? Or stopped listening, or even had conversations veer off course and become heated, with raised voices with yells? Whether it’s because of feeling overlooked in a meeting or disagreeing on an idea with your partner – as the wise Rumi said “Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder”.
I have mentioned in my classes and even before in one of my earlier newsletters, when I worked in corporate, men would steal my ideas or just say my idea louder and I got upset one day, and I blurted, “You stole my idea! I just said that!” And the entire room just gawked at me…it may not have felt entirely great at that moment, but I had several of the staff speak to me afterward to say, thank you for speaking up, he has done that to me in the past.
I wish I knew the below tips before I blew off the handle. You can unlock the power of communication by following the below tips! You can speak up confidently and directly about your thoughts, feelings, and needs without any aggression – you will be amazed at how much more effective conversations can become when we take control with courtesy.
Here are some tips on how you can take up space by having a meaningful conversation:
- Take a deep breath and stay calm
Don’t let excitement turn into aggression – stay mindful, breathe deeply, and remain calm when expressing yourself! Practice this by breathing through your stomach. This technique helps you calm down. When you breathe in, blow up your stomach, and exhale and your stomach becomes flat. Keep doing this a few times. This will help calm your nerves, and reset your brain. Many great relationships start out with both parties taking conscious control of their body language and eye contact – always striving for a mutual feeling of presence between each other – this makes all differences even more valuable because it’s created from awareness instead of reactivity.
- Check-in on the way you communicate
Be specific! It’s essential to be respectful when expressing yourself, but you don’t have to shy away from voicing your needs. Put faith in the power of openness and honesty – people cannot read minds so make sure there is no confusion as to what you desire or issues that may concern you. Present yourself confidently by standing tall with good posture, a friendly smile (or neutral expression), and eye contact for added emphasis; all this will help ensure that your message lands loud and clear without any misunderstandings.
- Practice “I” statements
Get your point across with confidence by using I statements! They allow you to express yourself and make requests in a respectful manner. Plus, it can do wonders for a conversation when you articulate what’s on your mind without being accusatory or aggressive – simply start off by saying “I like your idea and I want to try this too.” This helps reduce making an assumption that the other person won’t like your idea. Remember to keep things simple: be specific and clear so that everyone is on the same page from the beginning.
- Set boundaries.
Learning to understand when you are too overwhelmed to handle a task is important to help set boundaries. You can say yes when it’s good for you, and stand firm on saying no, kindly. It is a liberating act that gives you control over your life. It helps to create clarity and understanding between yourself and the people in it so that no one feels taken advantage of or overpowered. Developing healthy boundaries will empower YOU to take charge and make decisions with confidence that also feels good!
Let me know your stories. Comment below and tell me which of these tips you will try this week!