awareness on filtering one's thoughts

I love Silicon Valley. In fact, it was part of my own personal on-boarding before moving to NorCal/Silicon Valley.

The show is brilliantly acted and if you are a fan, then you know Erlich Bachman – the eccentric entrepreneur, low on EQ (and possibly IQ) but high on…well…. let’s leave it at that.

His characters commentary in the show although hilarious and irreverent, has a biting heir of truth and confidence which is undeniable. His ability to speak his mind is refreshing, but is it professional suicide? You decide. Here are some of his most notable quotes:

  • One of you is one of the least attractive people I’ve ever met and I’m not going to say which one.
  • If they want to negotiate using hostility and rudeness, well, they picked the wrong guy.
  • There is a linear correlation between how intolerable I was and the valuation!
  • Your logo looks like a sideways vagina. I find that to be racist. Don’t you?
  • Our whole corporate culture is that we don’t have a corporate culture.
  • We’ll call you when we want pleated khakis.
  • You just brought piss to a s**t fight!

Granted these were some of the more tame quotes I could post, but the full version paints the complete picture. Short of being the CEO of a fictitious HBO startup or a toddler who typically doesn’t know any better – you should be aware of the words you speakand whatwhen and how you express yourself in the workplace. Your speech affects the way people think about you and ultimately creates your public perception of others.

Here are 6 ways to begin creating more awareness around filtering your thoughts:

  • Check your intention: Ask yourself if what you are about to say is for your benefit or your listeners. Unchecked, our egos love to start gabbing away to prove your own worth – sometimes at the expense of putting someone else down. In meetings, it’s always great to ask yourself if what you want to share will move the conversation forward or not. If the answer is no, then hold off until later.

  • Check your words: All words are not created equal. In fact, words have been the catalyst for some of the most memorable historic events over time. Words can be helpful or hurtful – think about yours before using them.
  • Check your security clearance: As I mentioned above, gaining and keeping someone’s confidence is a critical skill in life – especially in the workplace. If you have to pause before sharing certain information with someone else then you probably shouldn’t say it anyway. Always lean to the side of “less is more.”
  • Check your listening: Pay attention to how other people filter their comments. Take mental notes and start practicing rewording your thoughts and filter out (confidential) information when you are alone.
  • Check your position: It’s always easy to speak about another when they aren’t around but what if they were? What if they were standing in front of you, would you still speak that way? Act as is if.
  • Check your facts: If what you are about to say is not true then simply refrain from saying it. It’s not worth it.

Final thought:
Being able to speak your mind is a personal freedom and privilege but when it comes to matters of both the heart and workplace, you have to make sure you are towing the line and speaking appropriately. Remember to never say anything that you aren’t sure is true. Don’t provide information – particularly in the workplace – that isn’t useful, accurate and moving someone or something forward. Lastly, If what you know is confidential, simply don’t say it. Start here and you should be on your way.

The floor is yours:
How do you ensure effective communication in the workplace?

Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.

With leadership,

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