A friend recently sent this gif to me, and it immediately struck a chord.  I have been thinking a great deal about how we, as leaders and managers, communicate with our teammates and colleagues.

I think it’s easy for all of us—especially in today’s world which frequently moves at the speed of a swipe or tweet—to say the first thing that pops into our head. Often, we react rather than make deliberate decisions when it comes to engaging with others. We let our thoughts fly without first thinking about how we need to deliver our message and more importantly, without giving any thought on how others will receive our words.

Instead, and before we speak, we need to step back and think:

  • what is it that I am trying to say—what is the point I want to make?
  • do I believe what I am saying to be fair and honest?
  • if so, how can I deliver my message with the most positive impact—how can I ensure it will land where it should
  • and most importantly, am I kind and mindful of the recipients’ feelings?

Intentional communication needs to drive how we interact with others. If we communicate effectively, clearly, kindly and with intention, we can make a significant and lasting impact on the success of our organization—an organization where folks know where they stand, share common values, are motivated and collectively working towards the same goals.

If we take just a few minutes to not only think before we speak but reflect on how we want to speak, we can increase motivation, improve communication, help others deliver better results and show kindness and thoughtfulness to our teammates and colleagues. What can be better?