Thinking before we speak


Rohit Chopra

Founder CEO @Zifcare

Silence is a rarity in today’s world. Most of us are quick to speak. Often, we don’t even wait for other people to stop speaking before we interrupt them and say what’s on our mind. At other times, we speak out in anger without even pausing for a moment to think how our words can hurt someone. We then are overcome by guilt and blame ourselves for being unnecessarily harsh. We hurt people so much with our bitter words despite knowing that this is wrong. Why?

In today’s hyperactive world, we have developed a habit of instant response. We need to respond to an email the minute we receive it. We need to respond to a message as soon as our phone beeps. However, we need not fall prey to this habit. The best leaders take their time to respond. Only after careful consideration and deliberation do they speak. But when they do speak, their words are full of insight, compassion and clarity. We too can develop this habit and start to think a bit before we speak.

Initially, this can be very difficult. We have developed a false perception that those who speak up late are not intelligent or confident. We feel that people may think we have nothing to contribute if we take a little time to speak. However, nothing could be further from the truth. People who take time to craft a response not only get greater respect but also are sought after for advice.

Speaking after thinking is also invaluable for relationships. So many relationships break up or become dysfunctional just because we don’t respect our partner’s feelings and blurt out hurtful words. This not only strains the relationship but also damages the other person emotionally. We may well forget our careless words, but the other person may have to bear the burden for a long time. Thinking before speaking, and then too with love and compassion can make relationships stronger and more loving.

Thinking before speaking is a skill that not many people possess in today’s world. By taking a moment to think before we speak, we can be successful as leaders, employees and even as parents and friends. So, let’s make it a habit to speak after a bit of contemplation.

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