Allan Parker on staying calm, communicating with presence and mastering your state 

How do you communicate from a place of stillness and calm regardless of what’s happening around you?

We all know the situations that tend to set off our body’s alarm system. It could be a fight with our partner, the same old conversation with a member of our team – or getting up in front of a room full of people to speak or make our ideas heard.

Regardless of the situation – the warning signals tend to be the same. Our heartbeat increases, our breath shortens, our thinking becomes reactive, our responses shift into ‘fight or flight’ and our ability to communicate calmly becomes non-existent.

Well, those were mine anyway, until I adopted the micro-practices of my incredible guest today.

Today’s Guest 

Allan Parker is a friend, mentor and one of the very first people I invited onto this podcast over 150 episodes ago. Episode No. 3 I believe. Such is the respect and admiration I have for him as a master in his space.

Allan is a Micro Behavioural Scientist, Educator, Facilitator and Author. In 2019 he was a recipient of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the Queens Birthday Honors List – for Contribution to Business and Dispute Resolution.

He’s best known in his field as a facilitator of large-scale multi-party negotiations and disputes. Having acted as a moderator for both the United Nations World Investment Forum, and the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

He is also the author of The Negotiator’s Toolkit, the bestseller Switch on Your Brain; and co-author of the negotiation bible Beyond Yes.

When you invite Allan into a conversation, it’s usually best to throw out your agenda – and follow where his instincts want to go. So that is exactly what happened.

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You’ll Learn

  • How we can start to better understand and manage our adrenaline and cortisol systems as communicators – especially in high stakes moments.
  • Allan’s favorite techniques for preventing our inner alert system from being triggered in certain salutations – keeping adrenaline and cortisol low and enabling us to stay in a calm and present state.  
  • The importance of breathing as a stress reliever – sounds simple I know, but anyone that’s tried to monitor their breath while in fight or flight knows the focus it takes.
  • How to identify what Allan calls ‘critical choice points’ in any situation – this one tool has been a game changer for me in my own communication. 
  • Finally, why when speaking in front of either a large or small group of people, you should always identify your ‘light houses’ and lean into the friendly eyes.

For me, this is a conversation about freedom.

Freedom to express yourself clearly and calmly in ANY situation. 

Freedom from the unconscious triggers that keep us stuck in ‘fight or flight’ – and therefore unable to show up at the next level.

Freedom to recognise those critical choice points – in our lives, conversations, relationships and career – and then choose how we wish to respond.

Freedom to own our influence in any given moment.

References and links mentioned

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