Think Twice (Before You Speak)

You’ve had a thought. Great! Should you share it? 

  • When you’re preparing a presentation 
  • When you’re in a meeting
  • When you’re with your team 
  • When you’re with your friends

Here’s two questions I try to ask myself before I speak up. I think of them a bit like a filter, taking out all that is unnecessary, making sure I only bring my best to the conversation. 

1. IS IT INTERESTING?

To others not just me. I think all my ideas are interesting, but would you believe that not everyone thinks that! Will this thought capture and retain the attention of the people in the room or conversation when I share it?  

2. IS IT HELPFUL?

Is it relevant to the conversation we are having. Will this thought lead to something that people can use and apply? Will it move the conversation in a positive direction? Will this add value to the conversation?

PUT SIMPLY

  • If it’s neither helpful or interesting. I observe it and then keep it to myself  
  • If it’s interesting but not very helpful. I record it and then share it privately
  • If it’s helpful but probably not very interesting. I refine it and then share it succinctly  
  • If it’s both interesting and helpful. I prepare it and then share it confidently 

In the words of Thomas Browne, a 17th century English author:

“Think before you act; think twice before you speak.”

Small words can make a big difference so make sure they count.