How many times have we been in a conversation, be it face to face, over the phone, an email, or a text, and when the conversation is over you think to yourself, “I shouldn’t have said that.” We all have. The importance of good communication is something I have to constantly remind myself and we talk about in our clinic almost every day.
There is an old Proverb that says, “Even a fool looks wise when he keeps his mouth shut, and discerning if they hold their tongue.” This Proverb has been one verse I keep in my head as best I can, as for me, conflict and chaos can be often. As I tell our people, the more you do, the more chaos and conflict we create. And we have to embrace conflict and make healthy conflict. And there are times we need to “hit the pause” button, and breathe, and respond and not react.
With the digital age, there is so much non-face to face communication. Being a keyboard ninja is not only easy but also so inviting. We often have the wittiest put down, of the perfect put down, or a hasty one-liner. And there is an actual positive endorphin feeling or rush we get sometimes with those comments, yet like any “high”, is followed by the de-escalating downer leading to the gut tugging feeling of regret.
What we really need, is a pause button on our keyboards, as Seth Godin recently talked on in his blog. We all need a pause button, as most of us, at one point or another, don’t hit the pause button, and hit send. And it is at that point, words are “spoken” that can’t be taken back and can change a life forever. Forever. We have all been there, done that, and had that regret. Especially us Gen X’ers as we rafted through the treacherous rapids of Facebook being innocently laid out to the world almost 10 years ago. With screen battles over college teams and rivalries, then politics, religion, and everything in between, and very few of us had a pause button.
We are all better than this! Next time, hit the pause button, or count to 1,000, or take a walk around the block or quarter. Always have that small but mighty powerful Proverb in your brain, “Even a fool looks wise when he keeps his mouth shut, and discerning if they hold their tongue.” If the entire world followed this Proverb for just one day, wow, what could that world look like!? Maybe we should have the #holdyourtongueforoneday challenge!! Happy Leadership Thursday!!