December 21, 2013

Comm WS Pune: Q & A part 3

Part 3 of interesting questions asked during Pune Comm WS; click read more..
How to manage stammering?
Easy. Be courageous. Confront your fears and other negative emotions. Confront, document and catalogue your current speech and related behaviours (with a video camera). Modify them a little – one by one, in a supportive environment (your SHG, physical or online). Continue learning about stammering (not about mysterious “cure” in 7 minutes or 7 days) and continue meeting other PWS. Focus on Communication- rather than dazzling others with your fluency. In 6-9 months, you will be a good communicator and a changed person. THEN, forget about stammering, if you want to.

How to counter chocking / lack of breath?
Normally, breathing is an unconscious behaviour. Exceptions are- people facing an acute attack of Asthma or drowning. So, first step should be developing awareness into the act of breathing. Vipassana, Pranayam are two of the common tools to help you with this. They make you more aware of the act of breathing; breathing through chest, through belly etc.
Thereafter, you should practice Pausing technique (check AHJ). When you consciously pause in a sentence, use it to breathe CONSCIOUSLY and then carry on. Speak in a slightly louder volume (10-15% higher). All this will help if you practice it consistently for some months.
But the basic question remains, why do pws forget to breathe? Or try to speak a long sentence in one breath as if they were in a big hurry? If you analyse this deeply, you will realise that most pws are “frightened” of a block, at a subconscious level. So “frightened” are they, that they may forget the normal practice of breathing in between sentences and they may try to finish the whole sentence before “block” strikes. So, unless you deal with these subconscious fears and psychological drives effectively, chances are, other instructions may not help much in the long run. Ask yourself: what am I frightened of? Why? If the fear was not there, what would I do differently? Etc.

How to talk in interview with stammering?
Aha- learn it from the master himself!
As you watch JP in these two videos, where there were about 12 people looking at him- also pay attention to the complex thoughts he is putting across successfully, the comfortable posture and the language (words, sentences) he is using. When you take all this in consideration, only then, you have grasped the complete communication style of the person concerned.

How to release one self during a tense situation where you can not talk and stammer a lot..?
Use a cancellation, pause, smile, maintain good eye contact - give the other person a chance to say whatever they want to say- try and understand their point of view. If nothing works for you, excuse yourself, send them an sms or email, go home and be quiet for sometime. What would you do, if you had a severe headache or Diarrhoea in the middle of a meeting?

Is it possible to think what to talk and how to talk at a time?
I may ask in return: can you drive and listen to music at the same time?
When we began to learn driving, it was difficult even to press the clutch, change the gear and keep steering straight. I used to swerve to left, whenever I changed the gear! But we persisted (in an intelligent way) – and today some of us can do much much more than that: they can drive, hold a conversation on mobile (-no, we are not recommending it btw-), keep an eye on the child in the back seat, navigate etc etc.
So, in answer to your question- yes, it can be done with consistent practice. But a beginner, and even an expert planning a formal presentation, will do well to prepare the content BEFOREHAND and rehearse much. We can do a lot of multi-tasking but there are recent studies which shows that we as a race are paying the price of too much multi-tasking, in terms of rising levels of stress and anxiety disorders.
So, develop your multi-tasking skills, but dont over use them. Prepare well and rehearse a lot of times in your SHG – physical or online.

How to implement the techniques like bouncing in real world? How much do we have to practice bouncing, prolongation?
Detailed suggestion are given in AHJ. More than that, talk to people in your group. Adopt the whole package ( life style change), rather than just one or two techniques. A consistent holistic practice for 6-9 months has been found helpful by many of us.

Is there anyway stammering can be cured without doing voluntary stuttering?
Vol. Stuttering is not a creed or dogma or ritual or magic. It is just a method, one method, to help pws REALISE what they are doing with their speech mechanism; what of it is unhelpful and how to step away from doing those things..
The fact is- if you do nothing, even then, you will stammer once in a while- whether you want it or not. That is the TRUTH of stammering unfortunately. Suppose this frequency of blocking is 4 times a week. Now let us say- you convert two of these to voluntary stuttering ie. you give yourself permission to do it purposely in your SHG - how does it hurt you? How does it make things worse for you?
If a bunch of friends are going to throw you in a pool, wont it be nice to pre-empt them, take your wallet and phone out and then dive in to the pool and come out the other side, smiling?
What do you gain by Vol. Stuttering? You become free of the fear etc. You develop deep insights into your thoughts and behaviors during the block. You get the courage to drop useless behaviors and move on to communication.
(As to possibilities, I am sure everything is possible in some parallel universe! Just joking!!)

How can a pws have good communication skills?
By communicating in different situations with different people- all the time, everywhere. By inviting frank feedback. Analyzing it. Then again, communicating, communicating, communicating.. Reading, writing also helps by teaching us clear thinking. Volunteering, social engagements, Theater also help- by creating meaningful opportunities for communication.

As to why one may fail, here is a list of ten mistakes we often make (we are not endorsing their products or services btw; just this video): 

Also, look at this great online resource; most of the experts participating are recovered pws:

Here is the bonus:

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