Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?
This set of questions is part of the Life Learning Center curriculum where I am part of the volunteer faculty. It caught my attention in a recent class and I wanted to explore it. I found another variation that I like because it’s easy to remember…THINK (before you speak).
Relationships are important and complicated. They deserve the communication skills that reflect the care and love we have for others. Feedback and constructive criticism are particularly difficult. We get triggered and the words sometimes emerge too quickly.
Ask yourself the following questions before you speak…
- T. Is it true? We make assumptions about motivations rather than sticking to the observable facts. Check that it something you actually see or hear.
- H. Is it helpful? Pick the right time, get their attention, take a deep breath. Constructive criticism leaves the other person with a helpful insight.
- I. Is it inspiring? Feedback should motivate the receiver to take action. It should be given so that self-esteem is not lost. We should zapp, not sapp.
- N. Is it necessary? Most people are aware of their own flaws and mistakes; sometimes silence is better than words.
- K. Is it kind? Our words should show the care and respect we have for important people in our lives. Start you sentence with “I” (see or hear) rather than “you” (did something).
Do you THINK before you speak?