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  • John Werner

"This is not a constructive talk; I'm going to walk."


Whenever you find yourself in a conversation that may "not be going well" or makes you uncomfortable, stating "This is not a constructive talk; I'm going to walk." in a firm yet calm voice is a safe and constructive way to walk away from the event. This allows time to regroup your thoughts, regain your composure, and re-enter the event or set up another time to continue it. If during the event, you felt threatened in any way or unsafe, you can bring someone else with you the next time the same or a similar event happens or just avoid it all together.

This Sound Message Method will help you at work, at home, at play, and in public spaces. For example, you and two other people (Sam & Pat) are scheduling a project at work. During your conversations, Sam's and Pat's volumes are getting louder and louder, perhaps even your volume is also getting louder, but you begin to feel uncomfortable. You listen to it for a while, but then you begin to hear the same ideas presented again and again. You listen for a little longer, but the volumes do not go down and the phrases are still being repeated. This is a good time to state, "This is not a constructive talk; I'm going to walk." or "This is not a constructive talk, let's set another time to continue it." All three of you can return to a calmer sense of yourselves, verify the repeated ideas, and set up another time to finish the schedule.

John Werner has degrees in Engineering, Music and Organization Development. He practices Sound Messages™ daily.

Have you asked someone to change the volume, tone, or speed of their words? What was the immediate result? Did you notice any change or improvement later? I learn from you, too; please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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