Oh no. I didn’t mean to say it, but it just came out.

My heart is racing and I’m in a panic. The others are looking at me, in shock. They’re waiting to see what I do next.

I feel like I’m drowning.

Has this ever happened to you? If so, you appreciate how uncertain it can feel when you’ve done something wrong and you realize the outcome of the situation rests on your shoulders.


That panicked response

The stress we feel at this moment is physical — adrenalin starts to flow, blood pressure increases and our breathing becomes shallow.

The emotions we feel run the gamut, from shame and guilt to defensiveness and anger.

Unless we have empowered ourselves with the ability to change course, we are going to a very bad place.

It takes courage to turn things around, because it’s so easy to succumb to such powerful negative emotions.


Now what?

Courage comes by recognizing that there is a better way.

A few days ago I read a really interesting article that described the difference between excellence and perfection. The author, Marc Winn, described how the quest for perfection robs you of your ability to stay in control (what I described above as your power to change). The journey toward excellence, on the other hand, acknowledges that there are bumps along the way.

Winn writes: “Success is really based on taking the right action and getting the feedback to improve and not on getting things totally right every time.”

It takes courage to pull through the moment. You need it as much as you need a framework for communicating under pressure.


The steps toward excellence

Your knowledge of Verbal Defense & Influence will get you through the moment — recognize your triggers, control your emotions, stand tall and take a deep breath.

Mistakes happen, even along the path toward excellence. Courage and skills are what get us through.


Kathy Mangold

Verbal Defense & Influence


Vistelar Group –