Words are powerful – as a writer and communication coach, I have been mindful of this for many years. Words are only one part of how we communicate but for every word spoken or written, there is impact.
I believe we each have a responsibility for our own communication – the ripples we are creating.
Words can feed love, compassion, confidence or hatred and fear
The thing is, most of us know and understand that at an intellectual level, however fear is an emotion and when we are stressed, overwhelmed or emotionally triggered our logic and reason and things we ‘know’ can fly out the window.
The headlines are full of emotional words on any given day, even more so now because the media has something hot and global, so they are running with it at an alarming rate and people are drinking it up like its truth.
People are mostly intelligent and for the most part very informed from proper channels through work and schools, like Ministry of Health, and World health organisation. These organisations have no hidden agendas, you can tell by the way they write, NO emotional headlines just updates and fact-based information.
FACT: Be aware of the media’s agenda
The media is not paid or funded to tell the truth, or even report the truth, they are paid to get readership, they are all climbing over each other to get more readers, more followers and more money.
They don’t care about the impact of their words, or peoples mental or emotional well being, they count clicks, likes and money that comes in from sponsored ads etc.
“What we reap we sow – what we feed grows”
We can’t control many things in this situation but there are some things we can control
Tip #1: Watch what you read
Be careful what you read and where you get your information from – always be discerning and aware of the information source, social media is responsible for much of the panic, stress, negative social and emotional impact right now. Take care of your own mental health, be discerning.
Tip #2: Mind your language
When communicating, mind your own language. What you share (spread), the language you use, the words you say and write. Even if you decide to ignore tip #1 and choose to read emotive media reporting, then please THINK before you share it. What is your purpose for sharing it? Will sharing it help others in a positive way or just spread more fear.
Tip #3: Connect with your team on a personal level
Communicating with your organisation if you are a leader, business owner etc, is vital and you will need to be keeping people informed. Please remember to connect in on a personal level with your people, ASK how they are feeling, how their family is coping, do they need any support emotionally or physically to get through this unsettling time.
Tip #4: Consider the impact before sharing jokes
Be careful about appearing insensitive, there are lot of jokes going around, always consider the impact before sharing them. If you feel you MUST share it, sometimes just in a personal message to a few friends or family will satisfy this drive we seem to have to share everything on social media, carefully consider what you share on your main feed, who may see it and what that impact may be.
Tip #5: Being community minded and helping each other out
Be community minded in your communication. Understand there are people being affected by this virus, the global panic and crisis in so many ways, in many ways much worse than we are in NZ right now. Instead of sharing negative stuff, keep up the posting of positive stuff, think of ways you can help life others rather than feed the fear and hatred.
Tip #6: What to do with triggered emotions
Processing our emotions is a communication skill that not everyone knows how to do in a healthy way. Emotions are part of who we are, and they can give us information to act in an intelligent way if we know how to process them.
Instead of being driven by emotions and reacting all over the show, which can be exhausting and wear us down, learn to process emotions, work through them to understand what information they might be giving and then use that as part of planning what to do with that information.
Stay safe, stay positive and remember to be mindful
Love and good vibes to you all – keep spreading the love
Communication Coach – Author – Trainer
Take good care of your physical health, keep up routines of exercise and health appointments, if you were going on a holiday that has had to be cancelled, replace that holiday with a ‘staycation’ still take the time to rest, relax and do something fun, it just may look different to how you had planned