I hate that feeling of walking away from a conversation, mentally kicking myself, wondering why I said that. Ugh.
After one too many of those moments, I decided to edit my conversations and emails. Maybe even to a fault. It has saved me on a few occasions, though, as I’ve walked away from discussions thinking, “Oh, man. I’m so glad I didn’t say that.”
It takes much more effort to restrain conversation than letting it spew. When I start to feel compelled to say something within a group – maybe it’s “controversial” or different than what other leaders around me are saying or a bit emotionally-charged, I try to analyze my discussion points.
- Is it professional?
- Is my information accurate to the best of my knowledge?
- Is this conversation valuable, propelling work forward?
It’s quite amazing how these filters have changed my voice. I think that’s a good thing. Now, if only I could stick to it 100% of the time.