Do You Choose Your Words Wisely?


Do you choose your words wisely?
Did you ever played baseball or softball growing up? Do you remember those helmets that you wore, the ones that covered your ears and had those tiny little holes so you could still “hear?” (see the picture below)

When I was little, my dad was coaching third base for my Little League team. I cranked the ball, it went deep in the right field. Now, I was not the fastest player on the team, but the ball was deep and the first base coach sent me. As I rounded second and was coming into third base, my dad yelled stop, so, I started to slow down, the I hear GO! Needless to say, I rounded third headed home and was tagged out at the plate.

My dad was furious with me for not listening to him. With a puzzled look on my face, I said I did listen. You told me to stop and then you told me to go. He said “no, I said stop, and then I said whoa.”

You see, the helmet blocked my ears from being able to hear the correct words. Go and whoa sound very much alike don’t they? Had my father communicated better, used a different word, held up his hands 🙌, I would have stopped. But he didn’t and the result was a loss.

The split second decision a 10 year old made was a result of miscommunication.

👉 What are you communicating to others?

👉 Are you using words that can be misunderstood or taken the wrong way?

👉 When you speak are you making sure you are being heard correctly?

What can you do to make sure you are choosing the right words and are being heard.

➡️ Take the time to brush up on your communication skills. You can do this by joining a Toastmasters group.

➡️ Confirm with the listener that they understand you.

➡️ Choose words that don’t sound the same as one with a totally different meaning.

➡️ And as a leader, never blame others for your poor choice of words.

Have you ever experienced a “poor choice of words” moment?

Share your thoughts below.

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Photo credit Keith Johnston on Unsplash