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How to Think Before Speaking

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Old 02-20-2020, 08:42 AM
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Default How to Think Before Speaking

Thinking before you speak is an important s**** to master for all kinds of situations. It can improve your relationships with other people and enable you to express yourself in a more effective way. Start by using the THINK acronym to decide if what you have to say is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, or Kind. Then, look for ways to choose your words more carefully, such as by pausing and asking for clarification. You can also think before you speak by using thoughtful communication strategies, such as adopting open body language and focusing on making 1 point at a time. With a little practice, thinking before you speak will eventually become second nature to you.


[Edit]Using THINK to Filter What You Say
  1. Determine if what you want to say is True. Reflect on what you are about to say and ask yourself if itís the truth. Donít make something up just to have something to say and donít speak if youíre about to tell a lie. If you need to respond with something, at least modify what youíre about to say so that it is the truth.[1]
    • For example, if someone asks, ďHow are you today?Ē and youíre about to respond with something thatís not true, stop yourself and tell the truth instead.
    • Or, if youíre telling someone how well you did on your math test and youíre about to exaggerate, reel yourself in and be honest about your grade instead.
  2. Say something if itís Helpful or stay silent if itís not. Speaking up can be beneficial to other people if you have something to say that might be helpful to them, so if this is the case, go ahead and speak up.[2] On the other hand, saying something hurtful can harm your relationships with other people, so itís best to remain silent if youíre considering saying something hurtful to someone.[3]
    • For example, if youíre watching a friend play a video game and you have a tip that might help them overcome a difficult level, this could be helpful to them and itís okay to say it.
    • However, if youíre watching a friend struggle to overcome a level on a video game and you are about to mock them for that, donít say anything.
    • Be aware that saying something hurtful isnít the same as conveying an unpleasant truth, which might be meant to help someone. For example, if you are giving someone constructive criticism, then this can be helpful.
  3. Identify whether your comment might be Inspiring to other people. Saying something that will inspire, encourage, or uplift other people is always good to do. If you are about to pay someone a compliment, encourage them to keep working towards a goal, or tell them a story that might inspire them, do it![4]
    • For example, if youíre about to compliment a friend on their presentation, go ahead. This will make them feel good about themselves.
  4. Speak if your comment is Necessary. Sometimes speaking up is necessary to prevent something bad from happening, such as issuing a warning or delivering an important message to someone. If this is the case, speak up. But if what you are about to say is unnecessary, then donít speak.[5]
    • For example, if someone is about to walk out in front of oncoming traffic, speak up to warn them immediately.
    • Or, if your friendís mom calls and asks you to tell them to call, tell your friend this as soon as you see them.
  5. Stop yourself from speaking if what you want to say is not Kind. Offering kind words to someone is another good way to determine if you should speak or not. As the old saying goes, ďIf you donít have anything nice to say, donít say anything at all.Ē Consider if what youíre about to say is kind. If it is, go ahead and speak. If not, donít say anything.[6]
    • For example, if your friend shows up to your house wearing a flamboyant hat and dress, either pay them a compliment on their fashionable look if you think it looks good, or donít say anything at all if youíre not a fan of the ensemble.
[Edit]Choosing Your Words More Carefully
  1. Listen carefully if youíre having a conversation with someone. Listen when someone else is talking and give them your full attention. Focusing intently on the other personís words will help you to respond in a more thoughtful manner when they are finished talking.[7]
    • For example, if someone is telling a story about their weekend, give them your full attention so that you can ask them questions about it and comment sincerely on what they said.
    • Donít focus on what you want to say next while the other person is talking. You wonít really be listening to them if you do this and you might respond with something that doesnít relate to what they were just saying.
  2. Pause for a minute if you find yourself saying ďumĒ or ďuh.Ē If you notice that youíre doing a lot of umming and uh-hing, this usually indicates that youíre unsure of what to say next and youíre thinking out loud. If this happens, close your mouth and pause for a minute. Take the time to think about what you want to say before you continue.[8]
    • Itís fine to simply say, ďI need a minute to think about that,Ē if someone asks you a question.
  3. Clarify what the other person has just said by asking a question. If youíre having a conversation with someone and unsure of how to respond to something they just said, ask them to clarify for you. Rephrase the statement they just made or the question they just asked and check to see if youíre understanding them correctly.[9]
    • For example, you could say something like, ďWhat did you mean when you said you didnít like the movieís structure?Ē
    • Or, you could say something like, ďIt sounds like youíre saying you want to go home because you arenít feeling well. Is that right?Ē
    • This tip can also be used to pass time to think.
  4. Take a few deep breaths or excuse yourself in tense situations. If youíre in the midst of an argument or heated conversation with someone or if youíre just feeling nervous about speaking, taking a few deep breaths is a good way to calm yourself down, collect your thoughts, and buy yourself a little extra time to think. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose to the count of 4, then hold it for 4 seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of 4.[10]
    • If you need a longer break to calm yourself down, try excusing yourself to use the restroom or take a quick walk around the block.
[Edit]Using Thoughtful Communication Strategies
  1. Stay focused on the conversation by avoiding distractions. Itíll be easier for you to think before you speak if you arenít constantly looking at your phone, TV, or computer. Put away or turn off anything that might distract you from the person youíre speaking with and focus all of your attention on them.[11]
    • Itís fine to pause to remove distractions. Try saying something like, ďHang on one minute. I just want to turn off the TV so I can give you my full attention.Ē
  2. Demonstrate that youíre listening by using open body language. Adopting open body language can help you to communicate with someone in a more thoughtful manner. Become more aware of how youíre sitting or standing when you talk with other people. Some things you can do to improve your body language include:[12]
    • Facing towards the person rather than angling your body away from them.
    • Keeping your arms loose and at your sides instead of crossing them over your chest.
    • Make eye contact with the person youíre talking to. Avoid staring off into the distance or looking around the room as this will send the message that youíre not paying attention.
    • Keeping your expression neutral, such as by smiling slightly and relaxing your eyebrows.
  3. Make 1 point at a time and offer additional information only if needed. If you tend to ramble or throw lots of information at people at one time, try to focus on making 1 point and supporting it with an example if needed. Then, pause for a minute to allow the other person to speak or ask questions and make another point or offer additional information if needed.[13]
    • For example, if someone asks you about your day, you might start by saying that it was good and list one good thing that happened instead of launching into a full recall of your day.
    • Or, if youíre debating politics with someone, you could begin by offering your strongest point and its supporting evidence instead of listing off every reason why you hold the view that you do.
  4. Summarize what you have said if needed and then be silent. After you finish saying what you have to say, itís fine to simply stop talking. Thereís no need to fill the silence with more words if you donít have anything else to say. If you feel the need for some kind of conclusion, briefly summarize what you just said and then stop talking.[14]
    • For example, you might say something like, ďSo basically, I had a very pleasant trip to Florida and I plan to go again next year.Ē
    • However, itís also okay to end a story without summarizing it. When youíre done telling the story, itís fine to just stop speaking.
[Edit]Expert Advice

Use these tips to prepare for a situation where you need to talk a lot:
  • Practice using the right body language for what you're saying. How you hold yourself is a critical factor in how your audience views what you're saying.
  • Create and listen to a playlist that inspires you. You want to get excited and pumped up about talking in front of or to people. You don't want the conversation to turn into a chore.
  • Stop and think about why you're speaking in the first place. Is your topic important to your intended audience, something that matters a lot to them? Remind yourself of how important your words are to these people.

[Edit]Quick Summary
  1. ? https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/think-...you-speak.html
  2. ? https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/think-...you-speak.html
  3. ? https://thechildpsychologyservice.co...think-acronym/
  4. ? https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/think-...you-speak.html
  5. ? https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/think-...you-speak.html
  6. ? https://www.inc.com/lee-colan/think-...you-speak.html
  7. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  8. ? https://www.extension.harvard.edu/in...ing-dreaded-um
  9. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  10. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  11. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  12. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  13. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm
  14. ? https://www.helpguide.org/articles/r...munication.htm


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