We often regret it when we’ve said too much.
Sometimes, though, it’s what we don’t say that haunts us.
Most of us have left a conversation thinking “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I wish I’d thought to say something more.” That flash of brilliance — just the right words or a snappy comeback — usually happens at the point where it’s too late to do anything about it.
Choosing the right words, spoken or written at the right time, is certainly the key to ensuring your message is on target and effective. Sounds easy, right?
There’s an old saying that most of us forget when we feel like we really, really need to say something: engage your brain before your mouth. This obviously also applies to engaging your pen or your computer (or your smartphone).
More wise words come from a story about Socrates instructing a young man in the skill of oratory. The student talked incessantly at first, perhaps to show that he knew how to speak. Socrates finally stopped the student and told him, “Young man, I will have to charge you a double fee. First, I will have to teach you how to hold your tongue, then how to use it!”
Saying too much, or the wrong thing, can be detrimental to the intent of the message. What we don’t say can be just as damaging.
Are there words that your clients, business associates, employees, team members, and others need to hear from you that you’re not saying? Perhaps words of encouragement, such as “I appreciate what you do” or “You’re doing a great job”?
Customers need to hear words such as “thank you” on a regular and consistent basis. These words can make a difference to others but they can also mean the difference for you and your business.
Are you saying too much or not enough? In the Goldilocks world of communications, it’s important to say just the thing at just the right time.
Need help with that? Let me know!