What to connect before opening your mouth.
We have the ability to communicate our thoughts in real time. We don’t need to plan what we’re going to say beforehand. That is great when we are brainstorming, or when there is an emergency and we need to issue a warning. It can be a problem when what we say on the spur of the moment is something we later wish we had either not said, or said differently.
Have you ever experienced one of this scenarios?
1. You open your mouth before noticing your thoughts and then go: “Did I Just Say That Out Loud?
2. You want to state your differing opinion, but end up “going with the flow” of your partner's thoughts, mildly agreeing with what you really don’t agree with.
3. You don’t know much about what is being spoken about, but you “blurt out” an opinion anyway. . . and are embarrassed when the ensuing silence makes you realize it was a really “dumb” comment.
All of the above can be avoided if you just make a habit of paying attention to your thoughts. THINK before opening your mouth.
I found this quote on the internet and liked it:
Questions to ask yourself
You want to think how will your words sound to the other person. Are they hurtful words or helpful words? Are you talking about what you need or are you sending out accusations? Are you edifying or tearing down?
Often when we respond in a less than appropriate way, it’s because we didn’t fully understood what was being said, or we let emotions take over. Take time to sit back and listen. Listen to what’s going on around you. Listen also to your internal dialogue, your reactions and thoughts about what is going on. Don’t start focusing on what you’re going to say; just be aware, absorb, notice.
Decide what to share and how
Then, decide which of your thoughts and feelings to share and how. It's useful to ask yourself: "Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" Then think, "What is the best way to say this?" Other times you might decide it’s not the best moment to share your thoughts and wait for a more appropriate moment.
Then when you decide you do want to share your thoughts, you will be able to do it in a way that is clear, concise, and appropriate.
Connect your brain. Pay attention to your thoughts!
What do you think?
In what circumstances you tend to say things that, later, you wish you had said differently? How can you be mindful of your thoughts while you are involved in a conversation? Share your comments with us in the comments.
A way to connect your mouth with your brain before you speak is to follow communication guidelines. I have an infographic with the Do's and Don'ts of conversations and you can get them by filling the form at the top right of this page.