Merge's Blog

Thinking before you speak will make you more compassionate in the workplace

In today’s post, I am continuing in our video tip series on tools to be more compassionate in the workplace.  Back in Strategy #2 in this series, I talked about the importance of slowing down so that you can observe both the behaviours of your staff, and the overall vibe in your department.  There is one more situation in which you should slow down and pause.  And that is before you verbally express your annoyance or irritation.

Pause before you express irritation or annoyance

Now I get it.  Stuff happens!  And when enough stuff happens, we get angry, frustrated, irritated, annoyed, whatever you want to call it.  And our natural inclination is to verbalize it.  Now that’s just reality, and it’s part of being human.  I’m not saying you should stop getting angry or frustrated.  I wish that were even possible.  But what I am saying is to pause before you verbally express that irritation or annoyance.  Because, words spoken in anger, particularly those that are not thought through, will completely destroy any efforts you may be making to be more compassionate in the workplace.  A few poorly thought-out sentences, said in a few minutes of annoyance, will cause an immense amount of damage.

So get in the habit of pausing.  When you start to feel yourself get exasperated, at whatever it is, slow down.  Pause and reconsider whatever it was you were about to say, and if you can, wait to address the situation until at least 20 minutes later.  It’s not always possible to wait 20 minutes, I know, but be thoughtful about what you say even if you can’t change when you say it.  If you want to be more compassionate in the workplace, then you need to edit what you say in moments of high emotion.

I’d love to hear more about your experiences in regards to this strategy for being more compassionate in the workplace.  Have you tried this?  Or something similar?  Is it easy or difficult?  Please share your perspective by adding a comment below.

This is Strategy #6 in our ongoing series on this topic.

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