Words at work can take on a life of their own. Knowing how to measure your meaning and deliver a message that is on point is not as easy as it sounds. In an effort to be “transparent,” you can sometimes say more than you mean. Even when you have to share some feedback, relay confidential information or discuss a particularly sensitive topic, choosing your words carefully when you are at work is an art form you need to practice.
You can be a seasoned executive or straight out of college, but knowing when and how to relay information in a way that does not get you in trouble or puts someone on the defensive is an important skill. You are your words whether you like that notion or not. Once it’s out there you can’t take it back. Knowing how to carefully craft your message before you open your mouth is key to ensure you stay on message and are clear and concise in your delivery. Politicians practice this craft and not everyone does a great job at it! Just because you have numerous “thought bubbles” does not mean you should say everything that comes into your head.
Clearing your thoughts, having a well-thought out message and understanding how your words hold meaning well after the conversation has ended should help you to navigate your next work conversation with ease. Your boss may value your opinion but not the way in which you deliver your message. Asking for an accepting the feedback when given helps you to hear how you come across and understand whether or not your words have the meaning you intended.
When you say too much at work your words can have dire consequences. You may think by sharing your thoughts, opinion or honest feedback that you are helping someone or the current situation. Not everyone can listen in an unbiased and unfiltered way. You have to gauge your audience when you are deliberating on how and why you should express your opinion. Do people really care what you think? Are you being asked your opinion because you have a unique point of view no one else has? Do you really want to help the conversation along with expressing your ideas or your “feelings?” Is this really about wanting to be of help or is this really all about wanting to be heard?
When you are clear on the role you choose to play in your work life, your work conversations take on a new meaning. You are either able to deliver a message that has meaning or you can flounder your way through a conversation. Knowing your role in the delivery helps you manage just how much is too much in your next conversation. If you think you are sharing too much than you probably are. Being your own editor is key in not saying more than you want to regardless the message you are delivering. Remember, if you think it’s something you would want to hear than use that as your barometer in sharing your next bit of feedback.
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