In this new article you’ll find out how to think before you speak.
Thinking before speaking is a crucial skill to develop in a number of situations. This can help you strengthen interpersonal interactions and express yourself more effectively.
Begin by determining whether what you are saying is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or good, using the acronym THINK. Then look for methods to make your comments more thoughtful, such as pausing and asking for clarification.
You can even think before you speak, using tactful communication techniques such as body language and focusing on one topic at a time. With a little practice, thinking before you speak will become second nature to you.
How to Think Before You Speak:
1. Determine whether what you want to say is true or not.
Think about what you want to say and whether it is true. Don’t make things up just to say something, and do not say anything if you plan to lie. If you must respond, at least change what you are about to say so that it is honest.
For example, if someone asks, “How are you?”, avoid giving a dishonest answer. Instead, speak the reality.
On the other hand, if you are going to embellish your statement by telling someone how well you did in an interview, hold back and be honest about your assessment.
2. Speak up if it is helpful, or keep quiet if it is not
Talking can benefit others if you have something to say that might benefit them, so if so, speak boldly. On the other hand, saying something stupid can ruin your interactions with other people, so if you are thinking about saying something mean to someone, it is better to keep your mouth shut.
For example, if you observe a coworker working on a crucial project and you have a tip that will help her get through an especially difficult phase, feel free to share it.
Say nothing if you see a colleague struggling to overcome another challenge on a task and you are about to make fun of her or him for it.
Remember that saying something mean is not the same as expressing the unflattering indisputable fact that you’re going to help someone. For example, if you give someone constructive criticism, that can be helpful.
3. Determine if your speech has the potential to motivate others.
It’s all the time good to say something that will motivate, inspire, or uplift others. If you are going to compliment someone, encourage them to pursue a goal, or tell a story that inspires them, do it!
For example, if you are ready to compliment a co-worker on their presentation, do it. It will make them feel more snug in their own skin.
4. Speak up if you feel the need.
Sometimes it’s a necessity to speak up to stop something bad from happening, such as giving a warning or conveying a crucial message. In that case, you must speak up. However, if what you want to say is not necessary, then do not say anything at all.
For example, if someone is about to cross in front of an oncoming vehicle, respond instantly to warn them.
5. If you do not want to say something unkind, do not say it.
Another effective way to test whether you should speak up is to tell someone something nice. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” Think about whether what you want to say is kind. If yes, then say so. If you are not sure, do not say anything.
For example, if your partner comes up to you in a glamorous outfit, compliment him on his fashionable outfit if you think it looks good, or shut up if you do not like it.
6. If you are having a discussion with someone, pay attention to what that person has to say.
When other people are talking, pay attention to what they’re saying. When the other person is finished speaking, focusing your attention on their words can help you respond more thoughtfully.
Give someone your undivided attention (1) if he is talking about his weekend so you can ask questions and provide honest comments about what he had to say.
When other people are talking, do not focus on what you want to say next. If you do, you will not really be listening to her, and you may even respond with something unrelated to what she just said.
7. If you catch yourself saying “um” or “uh”, take a moment to think.
If you end up saying “um” or “uh” a lot, you may be lost for words and deep in thought. In this situation, shut your mouth and think for a moment. Before you continue, take a moment to consider what you want to say.
If someone asks you a question, simply say, “I need to think for a moment.”
8. Ask questions to clarify what the other person just said.
If you are having a discussion with someone and you are not sure how to respond to what they simply said, ask them to clarify. Make sure you understand what the person just said or the question they asked.
For example, you might ask, “What did you mean when you said you didn’t like the presentation?”
This strategy can even be used to gain thought time.
9. Take a few deep breaths in difficult situations.
Taking a few deep breaths can help you calm down, gather your thoughts, and provide yourself more time to think, whether you have had a heated argument or discussion with someone, otherwise you’re just afraid to speak up. Inhale slowly through your nose up to four times, then hold for four seconds before slowly exhaling through your mouth up to four times.
If you need a longer break to relax, go to the restroom or take a brief walk.
10. Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the task at hand.
If you are not continually staring at your phone, TV, or computer, it is easier to think before you speak. Remove or turn off anything that might distract you from the speaker and provide your full attention to the conversation.
Breaks to clear your mind are acceptable. Say something like, “Please wait a moment. I just want to turn off my phone so I can focus entirely on you. “
11. Use open body language to show you are paying attention.
Adopt open body language (2) can help you communicate more seriously with others. When you talk to other people, pay attention to how you sit or stand. You can improve your body language by doing the following:
Instead of walking away from the person you are talking to, confront them.
Instead of crossing your arms over your chest, keep them relaxed and at your sides.
Make direct eye contact with the person you are talking to. Avoid looking away or looking around the room, as this shows that you’re not paying attention to the other person.
Maintain a neutral look with small details like a light smile and relaxed eyebrows.
12. Focus on one problem and supply additional information only when necessary.
If you tend to gape or spill lots of information on other people without delay, try to focus on one point and back it up with examples if necessary. Then wait a moment for somebody else to answer or ask a question, and make another point or provide more information if necessary.
For example, if someone asks you about your day, you could start by saying it was an awesome day and listing one positive thing that happened rather than going into detail about your day.
If you are having a political argument with someone, rather than giving all the reasons why you believe what you believe, you can begin by stating your best claim and the evidence to support it.
13. If necessary, summarize what you have said and then be silent.
It’s acceptable to stop the conversation when you have finished speaking and say what you wanted to say. If you don’t have anything more to say, there is no need to fill the silence with extra words. If you feel the need to summarize, briefly summarize what you just said, then end the conversation.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to think before you speak. I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.