When I was younger, I remember hearing my mom say things like “think before you speak” and “remember once you say something, you can’t take it back.”
In the last week or so, we have all been reminded about using discretion when we speak.
First, Herman Miller, CEO Andi Owen attracted some extra attention for encouraging people to leave “Pity City.”
Next, Clearlink CEO James Clarke was under fire for his comments about the selling of a family dog and mandating that workers return to the office in a video message to his employees.
Early this week, CNN’s Don Lemon and Fox News host Tucker Carlson were both “relieved of their duties” after a history of not being careful with their words.
These situations are a reminder of the importance of being careful with our communication.
Effective and successful communicators know that words have power. They know who they are speaking to at all times and frame their remarks accordingly. They use emphatic language when leading their teams and create space for respective dialogue.
Above all, they instinctively practice what my mother taught me—to think (pause) before you speak!