Have you ever said something you immediately regretted? I sure have. It is awful to almost see your words hovering in a cartoon thought bubble and not be able to pull them back. 

Blurting has always been a real problem for me and something I have had to actively work on. 

As a coach and consultant, I often have to tell clients things they might not want to hear. My communication style is honest and direct, but I also try to be kind. 

To that end, I wanted to share a filter I try to run things through before I say them out loud. One of my clients liked it and suggested I do some content around it, so here goes. 

Is it true?

This might seem obvious, but confirming that something is, in fact, true is definitely the place to start. 

If it is not true, you can stop right here because there is no need to share something that is not true. 

Is it helpful?

Will what you want to say help the other person? If it is true, but not helpful, you might not want to share that. 

As an example, if it’s about something the person can’t change, what you are going to say probably isn’t helpful. 

And sometimes people are in an emotional or physical state where they just can’t hear something at that moment, even if it would be helpful for them to know. 

In this case, you should consider waiting for the right time before you share. 

Is it kind?

Words can hurt! I am confident you can easily bring to mind a time when someone said something in a way that really hurt your feelings or pride. 

There are a lot of ways to say something. Consider several ways you could phrase what you want to say and see how each one feels in your body. Imagine how the person who is hearing it might feel listening to what you have to say. 

In my work, I often have to call out some unhelpful or inaccurate things my clients are telling themselves. 

Basically, I have to call them on their nonsense. 

I try to say it in a very gentle way with a lot of kindness, and with the goal of helping them remove a block that is stopping them from reaching their goal. 

You might be surprised, but people can hear some very hard truths (at the right time) if they are said with kindness and love. 

When I do it right, clients actually thank me for the feedback. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash