Scary Time!

Scary Time!

Anxiety and suspicion seem to be everywhere; tension has a strong grip; fear and worry are with us and a little shriek seems ever ready to break forth – Is it Halloween?  Is it that Other Event that is soon upon us?  Is it the relentless slog of the past too-many months?

Whatever it is, the result is communication chaos.  Mistrust seeps into interactions, and we speak as though we need to protect and defend our most benign comments.  We bristle at remarks of others and cut off conversation lest we get ourselves in arguments.  We see other people talking past each other without making connections.  We feel too quick to anger or irritation, we say things that reflect these feelings, and others respond with outrage, annoyance, defensiveness or aggression, and we wonder how we got into this!

It’s hard to control emotions.  We can’t prevent them, but we can manage them, and doing so in communication will make a big difference in our relationships- and mental health!   We can learn to speak in ways that discourage emotional reactions, and we can learn to listen to others in ways that allow them to better manage their emotional responses.

Our two new courses focus on keeping communication open and productive even when tension is high: Emotion Management and Yes, It’s Safe to Listen.

Scary times are upon us, but let’s keep the ghosts and goblins away from what can really help us – communicating with each other.

2 New Courses!

Emotion Management

Good communication is key to productive work, collegial relationships, and conflict avoidance.  Too often, however, communication is derailed by misunderstandings that are fueled by emotion.  A speaker sounds aggressive, a listener feels defensive, and it’s hard to find a way back to clarity.

This course explores the effects of emotion on communication, and helps participants recognize and manage interactions in which emotions play a role.


  • Review the critical elements of successful communication
  • Understand the importance of knowing the concerns of the listener
  • Distinguish between assertive and aggressive language and behavior
  • Learn what can cause defensiveness and how to manage it
  • Learn to manage one’s own emotional triggers
  • Develop strategies for controlling difficult situations

Yes, It’s Safe to Listen

Listening effectively has many barriers in the best of times, but in a climate of strong opinion, mistrust, and suspicion, it’s in big trouble. For many people, opening the stage to another speaker signals agreement with that speaker. For fear of seeming to be in alignment with whatever is heard, some people feel that it’s better to not listen at all – or to quickly shut down the interaction.  The reality, however, is that listening means getting information, and information is power.

This course will help participants use listening to better structure their own messages, and to feel more confident in uncomfortable situations.


  • Understand the difference between listening to learn, and listening to agree.
  • Learn to demonstrate acceptance of the speaker, if not the message
  • Recognize one’s own barriers to listening
  • Use techniques of active listening to facilitate the conversation
  • Understand how to end an interaction when you choose
  • Learn to determine when, how, and if to begin your remarks


Scary times are upon us, but let’s keep the ghosts and goblins away from what can really help us – communicating with each other.  Call us at 202 – 298-7700 to schedule a class today.

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