Daily Connections Recap - 4/15/2020 - Guard Your Words

As we enter a period of renewal and change, Your Clear Next Step is committed to helping our customers make their businesses and workdays even better. We will be here to walk beside you, to listen, to connect, and to aid in your search for clarity. In doing so, we are offering a free, daily Zoom call, called Daily Connections, at 1:15pm (CDT) every weekday from 3/19/2020-5/1/2020.

These calls are a chance for us to share tips and discussion about relevant topics (working remotely, maintaining consistency in uncertain times, building relationships across geography, staying motivated, staying connected, etc) and network with each other to provide help and support during this time of change.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us today! The next call will be Thursday, April 16th at 1:15pm (CDT). Click here to join.

On today's call...

Sinikka shared a few tips about watching our words. 

There’s a famous quote that’s been attributed to both Ghandi and Margaret Thatcher that, truthfully has evolved over time and been used in a variety of settings, but will ring familiar.  One version of it goes something like this: 

Guard your thoughts for your thoughts become your words. 
Guard your words, for your words become your actions. 
Guard your actions, for your actions become your habits. 
Guard your habits, for your habits become your character. 

A quick case for why it matters: Words, once spoken, can’t go back to the state of unspoken, unheard. Words have lasting impacts. Words can inflame immediately.

  • Guard your words – once they’re out, you can’t take them back.
  • Guard your words – the more we say (or hear them) them, the more we believe them and live them out.
  • Guard your words – they matter more than you think.

So how can we guard our words? 

1 – Wait.  Pause.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Take a sip of beverage.  Before you speak, think.

2 – Run a silent draft and imagine the outcome.  Try your words out in your head before you say them.  Consider the impact.

3 – Fix it.  If anything you’re about to say will have a momentary or lasting negative effect, then stop it.  Don’t say it.  Focus instead on what is good.

Here were some ideas and questions shared by the group:

  • This comes into play in my job all the time, and I am constantly reminding those that I work with how much their words mean and the weight they carry.  
  • Do we have permission to talk about our crappy days as long as we use the right words and keep a positive outlook?  
    • Yes! Yes! Yes! When I say run a silent draft, when you know someone is asking you about your day because they genuinely care, then share it with them. But when you say it, keep the focus on the positive and making things even better. 
  • I think how careful you have to be is absolutely bound to who you are speaking with.
  • I went to a conference recently where the speaker said that just asking “so, how was your day” can be almost triggering, and can lead the person to launch into the negative. SO instead you can ask “What was the best part of your day?” or “What’s one nice thing that happened to you today” which will lead them to focus on the positive.  
  • This is also true in the reverse, where it can be helpful to speak up. There are times when I can tell there are others in the group who are all thinking the same things that's not being said. So, then you need to process how best to say it.  
  • I have a prayer ministry where I start by asking “what is your biggest challenge today” Which then leads me to ask them how I can pray for them.  
  • I think slowing down is important, because that does not come naturally for so many of us. I think that’s one of the best things to come from COVID-19 is the opportunity to slow down. I think a lot of times we don’t hear someone else's pain (or even their happiness) because we are moving so quickly, we miss it.  

Topics: COVID-19

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com


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