Before you speak: Think.-A A +A
Friday, March 8, 2013
HAVE you heard this admonition before? “Think before you speak!” Most likely your mother or one of your teachers told this to you at least once when you were younger. Is this not a very wise advice? After all, many hearts have been wounded by careless words uttered. And many people have been put to shame for “putting their foot in their mouth,” as the idiom goes.
I love acronyms. They come in very handy, especially for forgetful people like myself. To help us choose our words wisely before we speak, here is an acronym I recently learned. Before we speak: THINK. Let’s ask ourselves, is what we are about to say.
At Toastmasters, we often hear it said, “Constructive evaluation is the heart of a toastmasters meeting.” Indeed, it is imperative to give evaluations or feedbacks that are constructive. For the members, the above acronym is a good one to keep in mind when we prepare our speech evaluations during Toastmasters meetings. But, it is an even better reminder and a great tool for a happy and harmonious relationship for all of us, toastmasters or not, in our daily conversations and exchanges at home, at work and in any place.
My Dearest Children and Sun.Star Readers,
I believe Michael and I have trained our children to be open to us, to one another and to speak their minds. And, so far, they have always done so; at least when we are among ourselves. Honestly, I like it. I feel proud seeing them discuss business among themselves, tell each other honestly what’s in their minds.
Sadly, I have also witnessed and experienced a few times how one or the other in our family have said something that caused the other’s agony and pain. (How true it is that we are hurt most by the people we love the most.)
We all know how that feels, whether we are the offender or the victim. We all know the consequences of careless and tactless words.
Sometimes when we are the offended, it is so easy to retaliate with equally cruel or more hurtful words. May we all keep in mind and practice this gem of an advice in all our relationships. Before you speak: THINK.
Is it Truthful? Sometimes the truth hurts. But, it is important to tell the truth. Indeed, the truth will set us free. What is important to remember with being truthful is the manner by which we say it. We need to be truthful, but tactful.
Is it Helpful? Sometimes instead of helping, we cause trouble because of what we say or how we say it. Let us make sure that the feedback we give will build up and not destroy another’s confidence and reputation.
Is it Inspiring? Be a motivator by choosing words that are heartfelt, sincere and enthusiastic. Let us show it not only by our choice of words but by our voice intonation, facial expression and our gestures. Yes, “Action speaks louder than words.”
Is it Necessary? Let’s ask ourselves if what we are about to say is something that is crucial and indispensable to the other person’s growth and interest. If it is minor but negative, forget it. If it is major, positive or not, remember to be tactful!
Is it Kind? I agree with the saying, “oftentimes it is better to be kind than to be right.” My mom used to often say, “When you have nothing good to say, don’t say it.” And Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness.”
Whatever we say, let it be said out of love and concern for the other person. And finally, let’s keep in mind and follow these wise words from the bible.
"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." - Colossians 4:6
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” - Ephesians 4:29
(Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. It has 13,500 clubs, and growing in 116 countries, including the Philippines.)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 09, 2013.