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How many times have you published an email with someone you wish you could take back. Perhaps you added one too many uses of the word, “like” or maybe you wish the tone had been different. How many conversations have ended negatively because you misjudged the person you were speaking with and the conversation became a fight? How many times you have said something to someone you cared about that you couldn’t take back, no matter how much you wish you could?

If you’re like most people, the answer is probably many times! We’re all human and we all make mistakes! Of course this doesn’t mean that we should continue to do the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome, in fact, many would call that the definition of insanity.

Instead, we should always be striving to improve ourselves and our interactions with others! While it can be difficult to think before you speak, over time, the more you practice at it, the easier it becomes to speak with purpose.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • How many times do you use the word like? What about the word umm? Or even the word just? Often, without being aware we use these words both in our face to face communication and our electronic conversations as filler. While you may be an expert in whatever topic you’re discussing, these words make you appear otherwise and can lead others to believe your are nervous or unprepared. Keep a running tally of each time you use these words unnecessarily and you’ll probably be shocked at how often you’re doing it.  Once you’re aware of your patterns, slowly attempt to reduce your daily usage!
  • Sometimes, it can be difficult not to voice a strong opinion – whether in a personal or professional setting. However, there is a time and a place for everything and it’s important to remember that some things are better left unsaid. The next time you find yourself getting flustered and about to blow, excuse yourself and count to 10…or 20…or even 30! This simple trick will allow you to collect your thoughts, remain calm, and give a thoughtful opinion rather than an angry response.
  • Ask yourself this question the next time you find yourself in a sticky communication…
    • Is what I am saying useful and relevant?
    • Is it the right time and place to voice this opinion?
    • Am I in the right mind set to give an opinion, or should I wait to collect my thoughts better?
    • Is my opinion based on facts or emotion?

     

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