By Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP
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 that 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 percent 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 three out of 10 people, the hotter they get because of 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, 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 you own assumption, ask instead, “What needed to be corrected?” By your defending what you think they mean as, “wrong”, it might not be what they mean as “wrong.” A good question can prevent a needed apology.
3. Hydrate. According to behavioral science, 55 percent 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 is 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 because of 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, your body looks 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!
Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP, is an attitude amplifying keynote speaker, author and corporate trainer. As owner of Communication VIP Training and Coaching, his company specializes in professional development presentations and products to improve work attitudes, motivation, communication, leadership, and conflict resolution. The National Speakers Association has distinguished Vincent with the industry’s highest earned honor, the CSP, Certified Speaking Professional. Vincent is also ranked in the top 1% of the world's best professional speakers and trainers. Vincent will be a speaker at ABA's Marketplace in Omaha, Jan. 10-14, 2020.