The way you communicate can make or break your relationships. It can gain or lose you a job. It can hurt or heal. It can affect whether you are successful or not. We are communicating more often than ever because the internet has made it easier to shoot out a meme, share a post or comment on someone else’s thoughts. The ease of communication is both amazing and deadly.
We all need to be reminded of the basics occasionally, so here’s a simple way to THINK about what to say, either in person or electronically.
T – Is what I am about to say Thoughtful? Have I considered the way people will see me once the words are out? Or how they will reflect on someone else? Do I have all the facts?
H – Is what I am about to say Helpful? Will my words add or detract from the purpose or value of the conversation? Is someone’s life or situation likely to improve because of what I say?
I – Is what I am about to say Inspiring? Will someone be encouraged? Will it make me feel as though I have made a positive difference with my words?
N – Is what I am about to say Necessary? I’m not suggesting that we should never speak casually, but wisdom should inform us if what we plan to say will add value to the conversation or be a distraction.
K – Is what I am about to say Kind? At times we all have to say things that may be hard, either for us or for someone else, but ask yourself: is my intention to hurt or to be fair, objective and restorative?
In an age of dynamic communication where some people pride themselves in “being real” (and other trendy terms to excuse their lack of tact and filters), you can make a difference by choosing to THINK before you speak, post or comment!
What other filters do you suggest when deciding what to say? Do you have any effective tricks for stopping yourself from blurting the first thing that comes to mind? We can all use your ideas!
Live, Work & Relate Well!
Dr. Linaman is a psychologist and executive coach providing counseling and professional development services to individuals, couples, work teams and organizations.