Executive coaching, skills development, training and consulting in high stakes communication

Know when to keep your mouth shut

Last night I was reminded how important it is to keep my mouth shut. With good intentions and bad preparation, I offered my unsolicited advice only to start a spiral of hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

How I go about repairing the relationship is the subject of another blog.

Here is what I should have remembered before I spoke:

Consider the consequences of the argument or action – is it worth it?

Don’t fight over or get involved with something that is none of your business, or that you can’t do anything about.

If you are angry, what is it really about? Address what is behind your anger before you rush in and address the wrong (or superficial issue)

Make sure what you say or do is going to solve something.

Don’t argue or say something just because you ‘feel you’ve been challenged’ or get involved ‘because you’ve been asked.’

Ask yourself, “is it really a big deal?’ Chances are it’s not.

Realize you don’t always have to have the last word, and it often takes the better person to let a conflict go.

Ask yourself “am I really right? does it matter if I’m right?  Is there a right or wrong with this issue?’

I have to remind myself also that we are doing ok if we get it right most of the time.   sigh…Here’s to being human.

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