Have you ever caught yourself wanting to say something, but weren’t sure if it was the right time or place to say it? As a leader, you need to be extra mindful in your communication because it sets the tone and can affect the team’s success. There are 3 questions you can ask yourself to help determine if you should say what's on your mind:
Is it based on fact or feeling?
Will this make the situation better or worse?
Am I showing compassion?
Fact Or Feeling
The first thing you should ask is if your motivation for wanting to say something is being led by fact or feeling. Do the facts agree with your opinion or are you being driven by your emotions? If it’s the latter, you may want to take a step back, breathe, and assess the situation.
Better Or Worse
The next question to ask yourself is, “Do I really need to say this?” To help determine if your thought will make the situation better or worse, consider things like:
Is it productive and going to help move the situation forward?
Is this information vital to the person’s/team’s achievement of a specific goal?
Will there be severe consequences if I don’t say this now?
Mindful communication is about remembering that it’s a two-way street. If you find yourself saying something because it makes you feel better, but it hurts someone else, you may want to hold back. Take a moment to consider if what you’re saying is productive to everyone involved.
The final thing to consider is, “Am I showing compassion for the person I’m speaking to?” Try putting yourself in their shoes for a moment and consider the events leading up to the situation. By taking this extra step, you may notice something that you didn’t originally catch and it could affect your answers to the previous two questions.
This method for mindful communication can be implemented at any level of your organization (and even beyond your company’s borders). As people around you become more mindful of one another, you’ll feel a stronger sense of camaraderie with the people you see every day. It all starts with your leadership.