People Don’t Think Before They Communicate

Posted By on June 25th

People don’t think before they communicate.

 

If you consider that to be a truth in all of your communications, you will avoid potential conflict. Many times somebody says something that offends you at some level, and your first reaction is to…well…react. React with anger, confusion, and maybe ridicule.

If you stop to consider, however, that the person may not have intentionally offended you and that it’s human nature to state something without fully considering the implications, you may avoid a confrontation.

I recently shared a suggestion with a group of people by email. One person responded with a number of reasons why my suggestion wouldn’t work. The person even provided some additional problems in the response that loosely applied to the group, but really didn’t have anything to do with the topic.

I don’t know the person very well, and I truly believe they were attempting to provide helpful information. I don’t believe they intended to be insulting, and certainly not confrontational. However, the person probably didn’t spend a second considering how their message could be considered offensive.

After reflecting on the truth that people don’t think before they speak, I decided to respond politely and welcoming. I told the person I valued their information, and I suggested they should continue to communicate with me.

So what was the result? This person and I are still communicating effectively, and after this person shared their “helpful” information with the group, they no longer have a need to be directly engaged on the original topic.

About the author

Keith Grossman helps individuals and businesses negotiate and manage conflict more comfortably. Keith is a Collaborative Attorney, a Family and Circuit Civil mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, an Arbitrator qualified by the Florida Supreme Court, and an educator. Keith frequently lectures and facilitates training programs, works with individuals one-on-one, and writes articles on conflict management and negotiation topics. His e-workbooks, “What Is A Peace Chest?” and “How Do You Build A Peace Chest?“ are now available on Kindle.

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