|When in Doubt,
You may remember being told as a child, "Keep
quiet!" "Children should be seen, not heard," and
"You talk too much." You were a "good" kid if
you kept quiet. However, being quiet when you are little causes big
problems later in life.
As an adult, you may have been punished
for communicating. For example, if you admit you committed a crime and
are sorry about it, no one cares. You still go to jail. If you honestly
tell your spouse you are thinking about an affair, your marriage suffers
if your spouse is not very understanding. If you tell someone you feel a
little crazy, who knows what might happen. So you learn to keep your
However, businesses fail when managers do
not talk to employees or employees do not talk to customers. Everyone
mistakenly believes telepathy is working.
"I thought you knew I was unhappy with your performance."
"You should have known I was overworked."
Marriages are ruined by poor
communication. Rather than openly discuss sex, money, body problems or
whatever, couples hint about their concerns or simply say nothing. But
without support and understanding from your primary teammate, you do not
go as far. In fact, a bad marriage can ruin everything in your life.
Both parties in a successful marriage are able to give and receive
communication from their spouse on any subject.
Life is miserable if you have no one to
openly communicate with. Friendships are based on communication. The
lack of friends or a spouse to communicate with often leads to mental
So the first communication skill you need
is to get out there and talk.
Unfortunately, on some topics, youíve
learned to watch what you say, to keep it under your hat, to zip it up.
"So that is the basic lesson
that anybody learns in this universe. They learn to keep their mouth
shut, and itís the wrong lesson. When in doubt, talk. When in doubt,
communicate." ó L.
Whenever you have doubts about something,
COMMUNICATE! Talk, talk, talk until the problem resolves. When you feel
stress, disagreement or resistance between you and someone near you, the
wrong thing to do is ignore the problem. Instead, start communicating.
When you know you should say something,
say it! For example, an employee knows another employee is embezzling
money and so says something to the employee and/or boss. A doctor knows
he must talk to a patient about the patientís rude behavior to the office
staff. An employer knows she must discuss poor performance issues with
Take the bull by the horns. Move ahead in
life. Spit it out.
If youíre worried about the
consequences of saying something, you can ask first. Examples:
"Lisa, I want to say something
about your driving to help keep you out of accidents, but I donít want
to upset you. Can I tell you what I think or should I keep my mouth
"Boss, should I tell you if I
think you are giving me bad advice?"
"John, our marriage means so much
to me I donít want to say anything that would jeopardize it. But I
have done something wrong and Iím sorry I did it. I think it would be
good for our relationship if I told you. Donít you think itís best
if we are 100% honest with each other?"
"Can you listen to something
unfortunate I have to say and remain calm? Are you ready?"
In the long run, you are always better
off by communicating. Take responsibility and talk. Staying silent