Speak with intention: How to choose your words more carefully
How you speak to others can make a huge difference in your relationship with them. In fact, the difference between being liked and being respected often comes down to the words you choose to use and how you deliver them. So, if you want to become more intentional with your speech in order to improve the relationships you already have, or build new ones that are more positive and fulfilling, take note of these tips below.
Listen more, talk less
Talk less, but with more awareness. Every word you use, use purposefully. This is one of my favorite quotes on speaking as a leader. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of an important meeting or give a presentation and forget that how you communicate can make or break relationships. Listening more and talking less is a skill that requires practice, but the results will speak volumes about your intentions as a leader.
Be aware of the words you use
It’s easy for people to say the wrong thing or use a word that has unintended meaning when they don’t speak with intention. Learning how to avoid these pitfalls will help you communicate effectively, whether it’s in person, through email, or on the phone.
- Know who you are speaking with and what their history is like before you talk about sensitive topics.
- Be aware of the power dynamics at play in the conversation; know if you are the one in charge or if someone else has control over what happens next.
Use words that are positive and uplifting
Intentional speech is powerful. You can have a positive or negative effect on someone with every word you say. You may not even know it! When you speak, think about what you are saying and why. Is it true? Is it needed? Is it kind? If not, don’t say anything at all and think about what you will say next.
Avoid using negative or hurtful words
This includes using language that is kind, thoughtful, and inclusive. Pay attention not just to what you say, but how you say it. Don’t speak too quickly. Pause before you speak and be sure of what you want to say before you open your mouth. Keep in mind the importance of how we communicate with others so that people know they are valued and respected. You don’t need a lot of words to make an impactful statement; sometimes a simple I’m sorry can go a long way towards making someone feel better and lift their spirits!
Choose your words carefully and deliberately
The way you speak and the words you use can shape the world around you. When we are mindful of our thoughts and what we say, we have a greater chance of living a life that is true to ourselves. That’s why it’s important to choose our words carefully, and deliberately. Here are some ways you can start speaking with purpose today:
- Don’t gossip – Be conscious of how what you say affects others, and be aware of how your actions affect those around you. Be mindful of the emotions that arise in yourself when hearing something or seeing someone do something; these feelings will inform which response is appropriate for the situation.