Have you ever been in a meeting where people used so much jargon you couldn’t keep up?
When those around us seem to be speaking another language we can feel like we’re on the outside looking in. It’s uncomfortable, sitting amongst people who seem to “get it” – and you feel like you should know – but realise very quickly that you don’t.
It happens everywhere. When you start a new job and there’s a “corporate lingo” you need to get to grips with. Giving a speech in front of a crowd. Travelling to a new country where you only know the basics. We can easily feel out of our depth.
And then, someone asks a question and we just, well…freeze.
My point is, that there will be times, especially when under extreme pressure – even those of us with all the training under our belts – will have to navigate unexpected and tricky situations and do our best. Our minds will go “blank” and we will feel, as they used to say, like that cat has got our tongue.
Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Find Your Language. If you find yourself in a sticky situation where you didn’t say what you needed, you can plan and learn afterwards what to do next time. We call this “compassionate reflection”, taking a step back for twenty minutes or so, seeing what went “wrong”, and planning for next time. This article makes a good point: if you don’t know what to say, say that.
Recognising our limitations in difficult situations is important because we need to know what we can and can’t do, that helps everyone. It’s why it’s important to think about what you might need to say in a language that feels right for you. You might not be able to say what you need for example, but are able to articulate how you feel. You can find the words that sit right with you, and plan ahead for when you need them.
Above all else, remember that you’re human. Your mind going “blank” is just another magnificent design in your brilliant brain that sometimes needs a sense check. As the video below explains, your mind hasn’t actually gone blank, it’s just doing its best to keep us safe – and we can actually thank it for that.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021