Soundview Executive Book Summaries

A Moment to Catch One’s Breath

Think about your average day. From the moment your alarm clock jars you from sleep, you’re about to plunge into hour after hour of constant activity. For many of us, coffee is gulped while commuting, e-mails are answered while walking and lunch is a concept more than an actual noontime meal. Thank goodness the function of breathing is automatic because many of us would forget to do it. Add an extra layer of stress to the mix and suddenly, the whole process of an average day can put some folks quite on edge.

Managers have to contend with people in an agitated state from time to time. Depending on your line of work, it can seem like the workplace is involved in a constant state of unease, while in other trades (say, retail for example) intense reactions are more cyclical. Author Mark Goulston discusses a terrific way to handle this problem in his book Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.

He writes about the need to help people exhale both physically and emotionally.  We read from time to time about the use of breathing techniques as a method of stress reduction. Goulston supports this argument by pointing out that allowing an agitated person to emotionally exhale his or her emotions before attempting to seek a solution is necessary to prevent a conflict from growing.

Just Listen is full of some of the more interesting views on communication that I’ve read in some time. You can check it out for yourself. It’s part of Soundview’s February edition. Take a breather and do a little reading.


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