Before You Speak… Think
It’s on 5 questions to ask yourself before speaking:
(especially if we’ve never given second thought to our words before), constantly asking ourselves these 5 questions will make it second nature over time.
Here are examples of how to apply each criteria in our daily life:
Is it true?
Make only comments that are true — true to what you feel, true to your beliefs, and true to what you know about the world. When everyone communicates in truth, it allows us to forge connections in openness and trust.
Is it helpful?
Always give the most helpful comments, especially when someone is asking for your opinion/advice. That’s because the person may heed what you say, and giving someone badly thought-out or random advice would lead the person on a wild goose chase, in turn wasting their time. “Helpful” here includes helping the person feel better, helping them gain clarity, helping them take action, and/or helping them reach a decision.Is it inspiring? There are 2 ways to trigger people into action — first by force (fear), second by power (love). The first is done through manipulation, coercion, negative triggers, and/or punishment. The second is done by inspiring people to their true potential and power. The inspirational way is the most powerful way as that’s when you help others discover their true power from within. Being “inspiring” doesn’t have to come from making big statements or promises — all you have to do is speak from your heart and speak with the intent to uplift others and the rest will take care of itself.
Is it necessary?
What is necessary is subjective. For me, necessary means something that I feel the person must hear, that will add value to the person’s life, and that will further the conversation. (It doesn’t include gossip, overt focus on formalities (rather than the connection), or tactless remarks.) When you focus on the necessary, conversations become more meaningful; people also appreciate what you have to say because they know there’s a reason behind everything you say.
Is it kind?
With every comment you make, online or off, strive to be kind. Don’t speak with the intent to hurt or wound; but rather, speak with the intent to connect and love.
So before you speak the next time…
As it may be a handful applying all 5 values at one go, I recommend applying them one day at a time. Apply each of the 5 values for the first 5 days of the week, then apply all 5 together on the 6th day. On the 7th day, review how you’ve done. The next week, rinse and repeat. In a matter of time, it’ll be second nature for you to “think” before you speak.
When all else fails, just remember — be kind. That usually takes care of the rest.