Vincent Ivan Phipps
Summer is the Saturday of the year! The longer days of sunshine along with the fun outdoor activities, can bring promise and adventure to this season. Unfortunately, the increased temperatures, and more people out and about, can cause an increase in impatience and shorter tempers. This phenomenon is such a nomenclature it has become incorporated into our vernacular through common expressions/terms such as:
• Hot headed
• Cool headed
• Steamed (up)
• Hot under the collar
• Getting red hot
• Blow off some steam
• Keep your cool
• Cool as a cucumber
• Seeing red
According to an article posted on PsychCentral.com, “27% of us are Summer haters. Summer Haters are those who are more likely to get angrier when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.”
In other words, for about 3 out of 10 people, the hotter they get due to the temperature the hotter they get emotionally. Whether you are, or know of a Summer Hater, as humans, our environments and climates can impact our moods. This Summer, to keep your communication cool by following these three tips:
1. Arrive early. Regardless of which summer event you are attending: Summer conference, pool party, picnic, team meeting; plan on arriving early. I tell my clients to strive to be 13 minutes early. This means that if you are to be there at 10:00 a.m., be there ready by 9:47 a.m. Last minute desperations or changes for time increase stress. During the hottest season of the Summer, avoid showing up sweaty and looking unorganized. Show up cool and ready to rule!
2. Ask questions. Instead of getting defensive, get information. When someone says, “This is wrong.” Instead of saying, “No it is not, because I checked the calculations three times. You are just being picky again!” In this situation, you can end up causing unnecessary frustration just because you make an inaccurate assumption. Instead of defending my own assumption, I should have asked, “What needed to be corrected?” By your defending what you think they mean as, “wrong”, might not be what they mean as “wrong.” After “losing my cool“, I discovered I just had the wrong date listed on the contract. A good question can prevent a needed apology. (Yes I did apologized!).
3. Hydrate. According to behavioral science, 55% of communication is body language. Our body’s natural thermostat is called our hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the portion of brain that helps regulate our body’s temperature. When walking from your air-conditioned office, home, or car, our body’s are in cool, “Ahhhhhhhh” mode. Once we get outside into this Summer sun, our hypothalamus kicks in to keep our bodies cool. This means, turn on the sweat glands. Visible perspiration on our foreheads, lips, faces, and under our arms; is just our body’s way of keeping us functioning. Too much sweat due to the temperatures, can give a false impression to others into thinking we are nervous, anxious, or some other strong emotion. Drinking fluids gives your brain the hydration it needs. If you are cool on the inside, our body’s look cooler on the outside. For the next couple of months, no need to keep checking the weather; it’s going to be hot! Remember to follow these tips to keep your communication cool!