***The following is a sponsored post by Michael Peggs, founder of Marccx Media. His company is a digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO and Content Marketing.
Why You Need to Think on Your Feet
It’s no secret that as we get older the old gray matter starts to become less effective. How many times did you go upstairs to look for your glasses and come back down empty-handed, or remember what you wanted to say to your sister three days later? While there still isn’t a cure for aging (sadly) we can do our best to keep our minds sharp. Training ourselves to think on our feet is an excellent way of keeping us – literally – on our toes (orthotic arch supports and all).
While finding the right words to say or the right actions to take in the heat of the moment can be difficult for anyone (and harder as you age), it’s actually something that you can teach yourself to get better at. And learning anything new is a great way to stimulate your mind. So instead of replying with “umm, I don’t know” the next time you’re asked a question out of the blue, try replying coherently, clearly and calmly instead.
Become a Better Communicator – Instead of descending into panic and scrambling around for something to say, make sure that you actually heard the question right and ask for clarification if you need it. There’s nothing worse than hot flashes and awkward rambling, except for hot flashes and awkward rambling in response to the wrong question. Learn to listen to people, look them in the eye, breathe for a moment and, if you’re really not comfortable with the answer, keep it short. Or act like a politician and respond to the question with another question, or change the subject completely.
Learn to Slow Down – This is an excellent exercise for your life in general. Try slowing down. Have you thought about taking up yoga? Meditation? Or Tai Chi? While this might sounds at odds with learning to speak well under pressure, your heart actually accelerates when you feel stressed and your words speed up. What you need to train yourself to do is exactly the opposite; when you don’t know what you’re going to say next, you should reply as slowly as possible to give your brain more time to respond. Practicing calming breathing exercises and hobbies (even just allowing yourself to read a book every now and then) can be good for this and your overall menopausal health in general.
Become More Interesting – Prepare answers to commonly asked questions, such as “how’s your job going?”, “how’s Sally getting on at college?”, or “what’s new with you?” Think about your answers in advance and have a clear idea of what you want to say; what is interesting with you? Don’t get left wishing you had said something else. When you think in advance, not only will you respond better, but you’ll have a clearer understanding of how things are going in your own life as well.
Thinking on your feet isn’t only crucial in business environments. There are so many occasions that you stand to get more out of when you know how to respond appropriately under pressure; even if it is just having the satisfaction of getting one up on an old school colleague.
And remember that while you’re thinking on your feet, make sure that you’re looking after them. Because menopause can come with unwanted foot pain, make sure that you’re comfortable in your shoes and slip in some superfeet insoles so that you’re not in any physical pain the next time you get put on the spot by your ex-husband or boss.
Michael Peggs is the founder of content marketing agency and SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.