Think Before You Talk

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I teach you my framework for how to think before you speak. This will ensure that you are thoughtful about your response and avoid blurting out something you didn't mean.

Wow, I can’t believe I just said that… If only I’d thought before I spoke!

How many times have YOU said something you regretted simply because you didn’t take the time to first think about what you were going to say?

Thinking before you speak is a powerful skill that can make you sound a whole lot smarter and a whole lot more polished. 

If that sounds useful to you, read on because I’m about to walk you through a helpful framework for thinking before speaking.

In this blog post, we’re talking about how to think before you speak.

Too often, when someone asks us a question, we blurt out a response before really thinking it through. Or maybe in the heat of the moment we say something without considering the impact it will have. 

These situations can make us feel embarrassed and frustrated at ourselves. And as we know from the last lesson, those types of feelings aren’t good for keeping a positive mindset. 

Check out my other lessons on this! Ok, let's not digress...back to thinking before speaking.

By contrast, when you think before you speak, your response is structured and organized, which is easier for the other person to understand and makes you sound more authoritative and confident. When you sound authoritative and confident, people listen to you and respect you.  All good things.

So let’s walk through my framework for thinking before speaking:

  1. Repeat or paraphrase the question they just asked
  2. Ask a clarifying question
  3. Pause – don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence
  4. Present your response

Let’s take a look at what this framework does.

First, by repeating what they asked, you ensure you heard them correctly.

Then, by clarifying what they asked, you can get a bit more context about their question, which will help you formulate a more complete response.

Now, the pause after that is tough. But it’s super important. People tend to be afraid of silence, which is why they blurt things out in the first place. But by pausing, you give yourself time to think. Even cooler, you increase their focus on you – you have them on the edge of their seat for what you’ll say next! It also demonstrates that you’re putting real thought into your response. 

Sometimes, during this pause, they’ll jump in and say something else. This is natural because they are desperate to fill the silence. Well that’s perfect! That just bought you more time.

Now you’re ready to respond. You’ve collected your information and given your mind time to digest it. You might be surprised at how much thinking your mind can do when you give it a little time. Even if you aren’t consciously thinking about your response, by letting it sit in your head and percolate for just a few seconds, you are guaranteed to produce a much more compelling and persuasive answer.

So that’s all there is to it -- RCPR:

  • Repeat
  • Clarify
  • Pause
  • Respond

With this simple framework, you will dramatically improve the quality of your responses, be it in a meeting, a casual conversation, an interview, or on stage. When you sound good, you feel good, and people respect you, so I really encourage you to commit this one to memory and let it become second nature.

Well that’s it for today Explearners. Add these strategies to your communication toolkit, try them out and make them your own!

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I’ll see you in my next lesson! 😊

Happy Explearning! 🐝

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