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Students, have you ever been in a situation like this?

You’re in a discussion with a friend/colleague putting forward your differing views on the particular ‘hot’ topic of the day. Around the 3 minute mark of the discussion, you notice that the ‘discussion’ has taken a turn for the worse. There is more intent, more passion….and probably a few more subjective statements fired out and aimed specifically towards the other parties head! (metaphorically of course).

What started out as this healthy adult-adult discussion and view sharing has descended into an all-out verbal war…and it’s getting more and more personal.

What’s happened?  

With the pause button on, you decide to take the ‘higher ground’ and apologise for any personal references to the other party and that you ‘sincerely didn’t mean to cause offence’. It’s only then that the other person tells you ‘It wasn’t what you said – It’s how you said it’

Body Language, Tone, Words are considered, amongst some experts, as the Holy Trinity of the verbal communication world. For a message to ‘land’ with the recipient in the way you had intended, all 3 parts of the Trinity need to be aligned – else there is a chance of your message being misconstrued.

What starts out as a healthy debate can sometimes evolve into an argument. Not just because of what is said – but how someone has perceived that message from their perspective.

So…if ever you find that you’re in a similar situation and you’re not sure how the initial discussion developed into a heated argument, have a think. It might be that your verbal message has been taken in a different way to which you had intended….Or Vice Versa.

RS Grass Roots is the Education & Community Impact team at RS Components. Grass Roots champions young engineers with exciting opportunities to nurture the next generation of outstanding innovators! Industry now demands graduate engineers with not only the knowledge but crucially the skills and practical experience to solve real problems and create new designs. Whether you are an academic working to enhance the educational experience or a student tackling your latest project - RS is here to help.
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