Dealing with Twists and Turns – How to Deal with Losses in Communication Settings
No one likes to ‘lose’. Even in a public speaking or communication setting, we will often find ourselves in a losing situation, or simply – a bad day. However, as the saying goes – it is either a good day or a character-building day! While we may not face competitive situations in our daily settings, we may find ourselves faced with the challenge of a tough crowd, a technical topic, or just an all-round tough day for that communicator in you. The fluid nature of communications also means that we may find ourselves lacking control over the situation and fighting to get back on our feet.
The question is – are we going to let that challenge, obstacle, or defeat get in the way? The answer is a resounding “No!”. When we share about communication and public speaking, we often refer to the positive and optimistic aspects of the techniques and illustrations. The best lessons, however, stem from the moments where we step out of our comfort zone and strive to be better. Today’s article will dwell into how you can deal with the challenges you may face in your communication settings. Here are three building blocks for your success!
#1. RnR – Rest and Recover!
Before we even dive into the techniques or habit-building process, it is a natural step to allow yourself some time to rest and recover from the situation. Had a tough crowd to please during a session? There is no need to rush headlong into the next assignment to ‘vindicate’ yourself! Instead, have some well-deserved rest and recover from the challenge you face to place yourself in a better position for the next fight.
In a communication setting, resting and recovering may require discipline (surprise, surprise!) in stepping away from the content deck or script that you have. For example, if you or your child had prepared extensively for that speech competition, both of you may find it difficult to tear yourself away from the script or from replaying the contest performance in your mind. Like dealing with stage fright, take a mindful pause to recollect your thoughts and appreciate the growth you have gone through. In short, there is nothing wrong with taking a break!
#2. Find the Black Box to Your Success
A black box records the key information from a plane in the event of a crash – it is supposed to be strong enough to withstand the crash and remain discoverable in the wreckage. In the same vein, it is important to keep an eye out for your black box after a tough communication situation! Part of the growth process is to unpack and understand the steps to improve. Besides having a reflective moment, you can take this chance to craft a workable improvement plan!
The key step for improvement is to be honest and precise about the areas of improvement. Instead of broad comments about the presentation you gave, try to dive into the details that you can improve on. For example, instead of a generic “confusing” comment, consider whether this stemmed from the structure of your presentation, the awareness of the audience background, or a matter of delivery. By being specific in your review, you will be able to craft a more effective plan to get back on your feet for the next presentation/speech!
#3. Opportunities Abound!
Finally, remember to keep looking forward to growth opportunities! While the path onwards may not be smooth sailing (especially if you are just starting out), it is important to see every next speaking slot as an opportunity to succeed. Even if communication or public speaking is not your mainstay, you can pick out appropriate channels to try out improved techniques in a different setting. Trying out a new story for a wedding toast, for example? Test it out in a small group before the next big day!
Of course, this does not mean going for quantity and clocking in the ‘stage time’. To be productive, pick out a few habits or technique to focus on so that your growth path is efficient. Instead of trying to improve everything at one go, extract one or two unique aspects to target. For example, if the previous comment or challenge you faced was in the delivery of an informative speech, you can focus on content organisation, statistic presentation, or signposting!
💁♂️ I’ll leave you with this:
Keep on Flying!
Standing up and pushing ahead after a fall is not easy – it is tempting to remain rooted in the same spot out of fear that we will go through the same fall. However, we can only progress and improve if we keep on moving ahead with an eye on our growth process. That tough challenge, obstacle or defeat is bound to come and how you deal with it will be a test of your resilience as a communicator. So, keep on thriving and charging ahead! We hope with the tips in today’s article, you too can step up and shine in your next communication scenario.
Remember the 1st picture from the top? Failures are just like those chiselled, cracked, ugly and imperfect bricks. If we keep focusing on them, we will only see the imperfections, the failures; then come the negative emotions – anger, sadness, indignance, chagrin. When we dwell in the thinking of our past failures, we are leaving all the positive things out of the picture. This is just like fixating on a minuscule stain on a pristine white cloth, missing out on the rest of the beauty. Here’s what I mean:
By The Way…
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