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Take Pause…

…Consider your words

In a moment of crisis or heightened emotions, we often act and speak without pausing to think about the consequences that may ensue.  Whether in a moment of excitement, a moment of despair, or a heated moment of conflict, our words and actions can fly through the air towards another as reactions that don’t always bring about the outcomes  we’d hoped for.  Information is carelessly shared.  Feelings are hurt.  Words are misunderstood.  Even when our intentions seem good.

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown (Penguin Books, 2012) invites readers to ask the following questions as they consider their words and actions:

  1. Why am I sharing this?
  2. What outcome am I hoping for?
  3. What emotions am I experiencing?
  4. Do my intentions align with my values?
  5. Is there an outcome, response, or lack of response that will hurt my feelings?
  6. Do my intentions align with my values?
  7. Is there an outcome, response, or lack of response that will hurt my feelings?
  8. Is this sharing in service of connection
  9. Am I genuinely asking the people in my life for what I need?
  10. What need is driving this behavior?
  11. Am I trying to reach, hurt, or connect with someone specifically, and is this the right way to do it?

As you take time to stop and consider your words and actions, I hope you find these reflective questions helpful.  Intentional communication is a lifeblood for relationships.  Whether we are initiating a conversation, or responding to the words and actions of another, our words and behaviors can take us down a path of strained or broken relationship, or along a path of growth and deepening connection and understanding with another.  Chose to respond…before you react.