Feb 22, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

One of the most significant attributes we, as human beings have is the ability to communicate through speech; some of us can even communicate through our very thoughts.

I believe we all know full well the value of taking a moment to think before we speak.

As some of you might know, I was recently kicked out of my son’s basketball game. The referee and I had a difference of opinion on the matter of where I could sit during a basketball game. The conversation soon escalated.

I was frustrated and said something I should not have said. Although I felt justified, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

Not only did I embarrass myself, but my family as well.

We usually do ourselves more harm than good when we speak in anger. Abraham Lincoln said:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

We can learn much from our forefathers!

I have also discovered that how you say something is just as important as what you say. Our tone can convey enthusiasm and sincerity or it can show anger and sarcasm. Our facial and body language will often say as much as our words do.

Many times, it does not pay to jump in with your opinion, especially when it is neither asked for nor appreciated.

Just because we are speaking does not necessarily mean someone is listening. Spouting opinions, arguing or reacting to things without giving it much thought will not bring you peace or tranquility.

How many times have we regretted saying something without thinking first? And yet, we hardly ever regret speaking after we have thought it through.

When you think about it, opinions are rarely changed with an argument. However, they might be changed by one good question, timed right and delivered without self-righteousness.

I believe we can become much better communicators once we master the skill of thinking before we speak and reacting to certain circumstances.

“Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn”
George Bernard Shaw