Words are powerful. They can tear another person down in an instant. That’s why it’s so important to choose your words carefully when you’re at work, and to always think before you speak.

Honest communication is essential at the office. Teams can’t function without it. But it’s equally important to present your thoughts and ideas in ways that are respectful and considerate of others.

Here are four things that you should do when you’re speaking to your coworkers:

  • Take a pause – It’s often a good idea to pause before you speak, and take a little time to consider what you want to say. This will prevent you from using words that might be hurtful or misunderstood. In addition, a brief pause will indicate to others that you’re thinking about the issue carefully and taking it seriously.
  • Think about whether it’s necessary to say anything – It’s not always necessary to share your opinions. This is especially true when you feel like you don’t know how to voice your thoughts in a way that’s clear and respectful. In these situations, it’s better to sit back and listen to what other people have to say. One of your coworkers might voice an opinion that’s similar to yours (making it unnecessary for you to speak), or you might hear new ideas that make your rethink your position. Try to be open minded and carefully consider what other people have to say.
  • Don’t forget that you’re at work – You might use colorful language when you’re at home, but you shouldn’t do it at the office. Even if you have good relationships with your coworkers, always remember that you’re in a work setting and you need to be professional.
  • Apologize if you say the wrong thing – Everyone makes mistakes. And no matter how careful you might try to be, there may still be a time when you say the wrong thing. If this happens, you should immediately say you’re sorry. Acknowledge the fact that you shouldn’t have said what you did, and apologize for causing offense.

n.a. (2020, January 15). 4 ways to think before you speak in the workplace (and elsewhere). Leadership Delta. Retrieved from: https://www.leadershipdelta.com/be-the-delta-blog/2020/1/15/4-ways-to-think-before-you-speak-in-the-workplace-and-elsewhere