Whether it is your personal or professional life, the words you speak are your secret weapon. They are the ace up your sleeve. However, if misused, they can easily become the means to your demise. If you want to make sure that you always speak to your own advantage, you should make sure that you always think before you speak.
Although the only creatures granted with the speaking ability, people often tend to underestimate its benefits. In a world of ‘instant demand,’ they often tend to disregard the meaning of the things they say. They might forget about the effects of your messages on both the listener and themselves.
Think Before You Speak Because What You Say May Shape Lives
What you say reflects your character, identity, as well as social and professional image. Similarly, it indicates the kind of influence you might have on other people’s responses, attitudes, and even behavior. Therefore, it is vital that you carefully think before you speak — your words may act as a weapon of your personal and social victory or defeat.
What You Say Is a Mirror of Your Personality
At a personal level, the things you say reflect your attitudes, character, and identity. If you use negative or judgmental talk, people might interpret it as a lack of self-confidence and open-mindedness. Furthermore, talking too much or too little may make people question your intelligence and overall knowledge.
Similarly, if you tend to swear a lot, they might question your early education.
Do Not Let Your Words Cut Your Relationships With Others
Believe it or not, your speech might have a damaging effect on your relationships. Both friendships and romantic relationships often fall apart because of poor verbal skills (and people being unaware of them).
Think about it — how many times have you found yourself in an argument with your loved ones, without an obvious cause? Well, the real trigger might have actually been hidden in something you said.
On Social Media, Post To Lead Others
In today’s world, social media is brimming with life-coaching talk readily accessible to anyone who’s ready to listen. You must have shared or posted dozens of such inspirational posts yourself. But did you stop and think about the people that will see them?
Bearing in mind their overwhelming influence on the reader, you should think before you speak on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts, for example, provide tips on how to make your social interaction and everyday life perfect. Such advice should not be given lightly.
Talk To Build, Not To Ruin Your Career
As already mentioned, your personal life is not the only one that can suffer if you fail to think before you speak. Your career, too, may suffer greatly if you do not plan your talk accordingly.
For instance, consider carefully what you are going to say in a job interview. It can determine whether you will get the desired job or miss the opportunity of a lifetime.
Likewise, your speech can affect your relationships with colleagues and managers. Especially until you get to know your coworkers, make sure that you always think twice before addressing them.
Planning Your Talk Strategy
Psychological research into effective communication suggests that following the THINK or THANKS strategy when planning your talk can greatly improve your verbal skills. To that end, you should ensure that your words are:
• True — avoid sharing poorly researched information
• Helpful — consider whether your information will actually help your listener
• Inspiring — inspire your listener, or
• Affirmative — provide affirmation and acknowledgment of what they say
• Necessary — consider whether your information is relevant to the listener
• Kind – create a positive relationship with your listener by implying kindness with the tone of your voice and the choice of words
• Sincere – be candid when speaking, without false flattery or remarks
Instead of Speaking, Try and Listen!
The strategies listed above should help you learn how to appreciate the people you talk to, as well as how to focus less on self-presentation while talking to other people.
In order to avoid communicative gaps, you should master the practice of active listening. As an extremely useful affirmation tool in social interaction, it creates a firm basis for the positive relationship between you and your addressee.
You have witnessed the stunning effects of powerful speech of the world’s greatest speakers, such as Cicero, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and many others throughout history. The words you say might conquer or destroy not only your world but also that of others around you.
Now that you know the consequences your words might have, be sure to take a long, deep breath before you utter a word. Choose what you’ll say wisely — press your inner ‘pause’ button and think before you speak! Only that way can you become the winner in every communicative interaction you engage in.