Get in the rhythm. It’s simple physics: everything and every being has its own rhythm. Your world is a cornucopia of rhythms. “Entrainment” is the process by which these rhythms fall into synchronization with each other. Put two out-of-sync pendulum clocks next to each other and by the next day they’ll be keeping time together. Entrainment works with people, too. Think of a shared smile, a strong sports team, or a frenzied boss who frazzles the entire office. Also look at great speakers such as Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, or even Adolf Hitler. They all had a rhythm that audiences followed in lock-step fashion.
When you are aware of the rhythms that surround you, you can shift them. One of the best strategies for shifting I have found is breath. Our breath is the most obvious manifestation of our inner state, and like a mirror it reflects our rhythm. When I match another person’s breathing, I get in their rhythm.
We shift rhythms by modeling. I read about a psychologist who specializes in crisis situations. When he first enters a crisis scene, he meets with rescue workers. He stands before them, pauses, and then talks very slowly and calmly to them. He gets them entrained by his rhythm.
You can do the same thing in your work setting or at home. At a heated meeting, change the rhythm by speaking more calmly and slower.