Are you ever shocked at how easy it is to put your foot in your mouth? Since it’s so simple to say something stupid at the wrong time (or right time), I’m going to hook you up with a way to keep things going in the right direction when it’s your turn to talk. You can thank me later!
So, when the time comes to open mouth – insert foot, STOP!
Ask yourself this question, “Is what I’m about to say going to add value to the conversation?”
True Confessions: Living by this would have spared my wife and I 94% of those stupid conversations that don’t end well. C’mon, honey, you know 6% were all on you!
The trouble with being alive and talking is that we believe that we need to add content to everything. There’s so much content out there. You are reading content right now and you are probably thinking of something you think I should have added, or subtracted. You might be thinking of something that you could blog as a result of reading this blog or something that you should add to the comments. See? We think that our content is crucial.
Sometimes, good as it may be, it’s not crucial.
Here’s a subtle truth that applies: Perhaps you can add more if you don’t add anything at all.
So before you update your status, text those 7 consonants, tweet those 57 characters or hit send on that email, stop and consider: Is what you are about to say going to be clear, heard, understood and get done what you need to get done?
(This post wraps up three in a series about how to have great conversations. The first is about Shutting Up. The second is about Asking Questions. This post wraps it up by asking you to think about what you are going to say before you say it. )