Pause. Think. Edit. Speak. :-)
“Just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to say it. Self-edit before you speak. It can make a huge difference in the results!”
Yes. It can be the difference between a positive or neutral result…and a very negative one. The four steps: Pause, Think, Edit, and then (and only then) Speak, are worth it!
One person wrote:
“Bob, I will do my best to edit before I speak for 48 hours just to see if I can. Most of the time I talk with my heart, which is not always a good thing for me to do.”
While I truly admire her dedication, I replied that it really depends on the situation. When of true long-term importance and in a very difficult situation, sure, sometimes 24-48 hours might indeed be a proper amount of time to wait. However, in the context of the above quote, I’m thinking of even just an extra second or two.
Sometimes, just taking that extra moment or few moments to think about what you’re going to say — and even editing a few words neutral makes all the difference. So, please, don’t put pressure on yourself to not say anything. And, by the way, speaking with and from your heart (as you mentioned) is fine. Just be sure that you are in control of your emotions before you speak rather than your emotions being in control of you.
My great friend, Certified Go-Giver Coach and Branding Authority, Bill Ellis shared something spectacular in his recent blog post that I believe covered this concept tremendously. He suggested three questions to ask yourself before you speak. They are:
- Does it need to be said?
- Does it need to be said right now?
- Does it need to be said by me?
I’d say that’s one of the finest ways to ensure you follow the steps in this blog title, and to make sure that — if you’re going to say anything — that now is the time and you are the person to say it.