Hmmm is a small word with a BIG impact. It has the power to calm us down. It has the power to reframe our thinking. It’s a bit like an ‘Ommm’ that we often start a yoga class with. It gets us focused, calms us down and restores our inner peace.
Brene Brown, Author and Researcher, tells us that when we feel backed into a corner we typically have one of three reactions;
- We run
- We please our way out of it
- We come out swinging. (Yep. I’m afraid to say this one can be me!)
So, when you’re having a tough conversation, these definitely apply. Your fight or flight reactions often come to play and without self management, they can take a hold and turn the outcome into an outbreak.
So is there a better way? Absa-friggin-loutely!
I talk about so many tools and techniques to self manage, change the direction of the conversation and influence others. But, here’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways.
Hmmm. Yep. Hmmm.
Why don’t you just contemplate and ask yourself some of these simple questions?
- How could I have contributed to this?
- Has this happened before?
- Is what I’m telling myself absolutely true?
- Is there a better way to respond?
- What can I ask to better understand where they are coming from?
And so many more.
The point is, replace your reaction with wonder and contemplation. Replace something destructive with something constructive.
Get your hmmm on.
Now I’m not suggesting you start hmmming when things go south. That would just be weird. However, what I am suggesting is that you adopt a posture of wonder and for you to be prepared to answer your own questions, truthfully.
You’ll be surprised how much this small word can change the dynamic of a conversation.