Yes, the expression of thinking before speaking is far from new, but never more important or relevant. Can an entire week go by without hearing the news of yet another foot-in-mouth moment – doubtful!
Yet, with all of the social media and quick sound bites as part of the news, one would think people would take greater care with what comes a-tumblin’ out of their mouths!
So let’s check off what is required of today’s exceptional communicator:
- To be verbally responsible – no words, expressions and/or offensive clichés (yes, that includes the “having a senior moment” comments)
- To be generationally “hip” – either you demonstrate you are current and relevant or you are “toast” - as in dismissed
- To be gender knowledgeable by using the appropriate pronouns
- To be multi-culturally aware and sensitive – yes, this requires some homework, but as a global citizen understands, it is crucial
- To be aware of (and work toward eliminating) bad verbal habits such as excessive um’s, like, you know what I mean, no problem, uh-huh, etc.
- To be verbally diplomatic – kindness has never mattered more
- To be assertive – speak up and say what you mean…but don’t be mean about it
- To be authentic – be the real deal that can be trusted to their face and behind their back
The bottom line is simply this – you say it, you own it.
So how would people score you on the checklist I’ve provided?