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#CommunicationFail: Don’t talk, just listen

Whether in a meeting or a one-on-one conversation, we often find ourselves talking to someone, and things begin to take a turn for the worst.

You’re left wondering: what just happened? Where are we going? Where is this anger coming from?

Hold on, take yourself back, & gain control over the situation.

Step 1: Stop take a deep breath

When you feel your heart pumping, you want to take a deep breath to allow yourself to calm down. Allow your brain to process and think clearly, unclouded by the fog or judgment of hormones or adrenaline.

Step 2: Understand then be understood

Following a tried and true method from Stephen Covey, seek first to understand, then to be understood. Just listen.

Allow the person to talk it out, work out their feelings, express their truth, ask clarifying questions for more profound and greater understanding, and reciprocate those actions.

There are times when you have to save your reply and hold your response until a more appropriate time. Replying right away or attempting to be understood right away will sometimes cause that #communicationfail to spiral out of control; you don’t want to do that.

If you can, have a moment where you can explain your truth and find some middle ground, but if you can’t, hit them with the: “Let me get back to you, and we’ll talk further.”

Step 3: Agree on how to move forward

There will always be situations in which communication will be mismatched, people will bump heads, we are all human.

Complete the first two steps, then come to the third, an agreed-upon scenario on how we can move forward together.


Vantage Point Coaching (VPC) provides Executive Leadership & Life Coaching for professionals and entrepreneurs wanting to level up and achieve personal & professional goals. From corporate leadership group trainings and seminars to one-on-one coaching with accountability partnerships, VPC offers a range of services designed to help clients achieve goals and find greater fulfillment out of life. Visit and sign-up for a Discovery Call, 20-minute personalized consultation to hear how coaching can help you achieve your wildest dreams. Change your Vantage Point, Change your Life!

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