I want to ask you a very serious question about the interactions and conversations you have on a daily basis. The question is this: Do you truly think before speaking and asking questions when you deal with people?
People love stories. Stories hold your attention, they stir up emotion and they help us remember what we heard.
If an ax is dull and its edge is unsharpened, more strength is needed to get the job done. God makes the waves and surfers just ride them … even in a storm!
In March of 1862, the American periodical The Christian Recorder wrote the following:
“Sticks and stone will break my bones, but words will never harm me. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.”
We all grew up hearing that nursery rhyme. The truth is that words do hurt people. They are dangerously powerful. Your words can be a matter of life and death to you and to those you speak to.
If you surveyed employees about their boss, they would tell you that if they had the manager job they would be meaner. Everybody believes if they had the power then things would be beter.
If you make the effort to THINK before you speak, you can use words to make those around you better people and more productive. Your words can prompt a person to THINK differently too.
Let’s break down each letter in the word THINK. There are five ways to create power when you speak to people.
Trust and Truth: Am I being honest and truthful? If I’m about to tell a lie, can I stop myself before it is too late? Being honest and truthful earns you respect and it catapults you into to a position to be a leader around the people you deal with on a regular basis. Who we are determines what we do!
Helping heart: Is what I’m saying going to be beneficial? Will my words make things worse? If I act with an attitude of being helpful, then I’m more likely to help the person I’m speaking to. Does it feel better? Do you want to help people? We are in the motivation business. Do that for yourself first and then help others too!
Inspirational: Am I encouraging people to perform at a higher level? I need to know that I’m inspiring others when I speak to them. If I’m not, then my words need to change. The biggest people will be the best promoters. Are you working? Are you inspiring? Are you focused? The right person will be one who sells, recruits and builds. They will follow The 8 Steps to Success. They will be intentional and inspirational.
Needed: Is the dialogue I’m engaged in needed or is it just meaningless noise to fill the interaction I’m having? Am I just rambling and flapping my lips because I love the sound of my voice? Am I also listening to people actively? People want to feel loved and honored. How do you make people feel? If you are laughing at what a person is saying, do you THINK about how they are taking your laughter?
Kindness: Am I acting out of love and compassion? Are my words professional and respectful? Will I stop myself before my words hurt a person? Love conquers all. Tell people that you believe in them. Show people love. Don’t be rude or try to “top” what they are saying with your own experience. Be kind and gentle, but not weak! Be patient and kind, not self-seeking. Be tactful in your conversations.
When you are dealing with people please THINK before you speak. You don’t know what they are going through or what they are facing. Your conversation with them could be exactly what they need to change their circumstances for the better. Your words could also have a negative impact. Make it a habit to use positive words when you speak and talk with people. That’s when you can really MAKE A DIFFERENCE to others because you really THINK before you speak.
Doing this makes you more important and people will take notice. The words you use daily can determine where you are headed in life. Please don’t take them lightly. Remember that you never know what another person is dealing with. Do your best not to make their circumstances worse when you have the power to make their life better.
Consider each conversation and topic for what it is versus whether change is needed. Leaders know people give mental and verbal assessment to what they are told, but people HOLD with CONVICTION what they discover for themselves. Keep asking questions Bo!
Check out the TWC where I talk more about this topic!