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Think Before You Speak

I'd rather miss the opportunity to say something because I took too long to speak up, than regret saying something before thinking about it. A lesson I've learned the hard way. Over and over again. Less frequently as I continue to practice this important discipline, but it still happens – to all of us.

We live in a society that moves so quickly, that has become increasingly “me” focused, and that has everyone so stressed, many of us “don't have the time” (which really means: we don't TAKE the time) to be thoughtful about what we say, the context of our conversations, the perspectives of the other people involved, or the consequences.

My team and I teach the importance of taking the “Critical 10" in media training... but this, and many other aspects of our media training, are equally as important to apply in every other part of our lives. Maybe even more so.

So, take a beat and think before you speak; in a professional setting, or socially; whether reacting, or simply blurting out whatever's on your mind.

You could make this a New Year's resolution. Or make it part of your everyday life anytime, like when work might get stressful, or during the busy time leading up to a big event.

I promise it will make you a more effective communicator, a better leader, a more respected friend, and a happier person.

Crystal DeStefano is President and Director of Public Relations at Strategic Communications, LLC in Syracuse, N.Y. and host of The Strategic Minute podcast.