You know those emails you write but don't send?

Those snappy sentences you compose in anger or passion and almost send? 

Or maybe you know them only because you've sent a handful. 

We've all done it --reacted too quickly, said something we meant in a manner we didn't intend. Or said something we didn't mean, in a manner we did... 

How do we catch these words of folly?

Written instances give us a record to learn from. Our spoken words aren't quite as reliable, given how faulty memory is

But perhaps with a little observation practice, we can "master" our speech by knowing it.

Here's just one way to start:

Observing What You Say

First, think about about who you speak with throughout your day.  

What roles do the people you speak to play in your life?

  • Family + friends
  • Colleagues 
  • Customers + service providers
  • Acquaintances + strangers
  • Strangers about to become colleagues, acquaintances, etc.

How do you talk to people in each of these groups?

  1. Do you consider the effect of your words with any or all of them?
  2. Do you hold back certain thoughts or expressions with certain people?
  3. Can you observe certain patterns of speech that are consistent from group to group?
  4. Other patterns of speech that are decidedly different from group to group?
Perhaps keep these questions handy as you move through your day/week. Notice what you can. It's okay if it's just one or two things. 

Take note of the words you say, to whom, and in what contexts you say them, and you'll be just that much more likely to find the pause between thought and speech that let's you mean what you say, and say what you mean.

Observing with you,

PS. If you know someone who might benefit from giving this a read, please forward along!

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