Communication in the workplace struggles when relationship uncertainty exists. This uncertainty can start in any number of ways: Someone feels left out, they were unsure about something another person said, and didn’t follow up for fear of looking like they’re missing something obvious. Irrespective of the reason, when someone doesn’t feel connected, trusted, and safe, the sympathetic nervous system (the one that causes flight or fight) activates, causing the heart rate to rise, the body to tense up, and the mind to focus on threats (real or perceived). Communication and resulting relationships can’t work with those internal events in place? With their sympathetic nervous system firing, this person doesn’t have the conversations they know they need to have because they don’t feel connected enough, and this in turn fuels the decline of more opportunities to connect. With less opportunities to connect, relationship uncertainty increases. And thus, the downward spiral of communication continues.