Communicating Mindfully

We all may have committed the mistake of speaking something that we regret, and wish our words were mindful and compassionate.

Mindful speaking is effective as well as the ethical choice, causing less harm to others, both offline and in a digital space.

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Communication

Kind Communication Is Easier Than You THINK - Mindful

mindful.org

The popular mnemonic acronym THINK provides us with simple guidelines to consider before we graciously proceed to put our foot in our mouths:

  1. Is there Truth in what I speak?
  2. Is it Helpful to anyone?
  3. What are the Intentions and Impact of me making this statement?
  4. Is it Necessary?
  5. Is it Kind?

We live in a world of confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance, where our belief patterns bend reality without our realizing it. Each one of us may have a different version of the truth, that may not be what others believe. One has to reflect within and move beyond ego, guilt and self-identity.

Speaking the truth isn’t just ‘not lying’ but speaking truth to power, making our words a revolutionary act in this age of falsehood.

  • Gossip, even if it is true, does not help, and is often harmful to us and others.
  • Bragging about oneself annoys and irritates others.
  • Feedback to others, if not constructive, creates a bad taste in the mouth of those receiving it.
  • It isn’t really helpful to point out that the traffic is bad or that the weather is too hot.

Who said it often has more weight in society than what is being said. Even if the content of what you say is perfectly right, sometimes you are not the right person to say it.

We are sometimes not the right person to say certain things in certain scenarios, like a useless debate at the dinner table, that could have been avoided by a little self-reflection and awareness.

One has to weigh-in the intention of the speech and its impact.

When we are about to say something, we need to ask ourselves what we want to say is actually necessary or not, and what if silence is a better option here, which is true in many cases.

We can simply WAIT (Why Am I Talking?) and practice self-restraint, or simply speak through body language.

Sometimes we blurt out stuff to feel better or when silence feels awkward, but in reality silence and deep pauses are the soil for insights and new ideas to sprout.

If you have to say something, say it kindly. While it is easier to be angry and negative, kindness during communication, is a big virtue, and harsh words or a rude tone do collateral damage even if we are being righteous. 


Pay attention to how you say the things you say, and if you don’t speak nicely, it is better to be silent.

Final Thoughts: Things To Ask Yourself
  1. How would you apply the THINK guidelines to your personal and work life?
  2. What part stands out and defines your existing behaviour?
  3. Can you practice speaking a bit slowly and then observe how the other person is responding?
  4. Do you generally talk about positive stuff or negative aspects of life?

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