Speak your mind tactfully is a skill “Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"
Many of us fear to speak our mind because we care about what others might think of us or say about us. What is the worst thing that can happen? Nothing will happen.
Speaking your mind is actually a skill which can be trained if it is not your nature to speak up. Consider the following guidelines below when speaking your mind:
1) Do understand that you have no control over other people’s thoughts meaning you must be prepared to accept criticism or feedback whenever you speak up. I always remember my mom used to tell me that if someone criticizes you, you should thank them for being honest and view it as an opportunity to improve. Truth hurts but it can be rewarding if you choose to accept the criticism and improve yourself.
2) Speak your mind does not mean you have to be right. It is not about seeking approval from others but rather sharing what is in your thoughts at that moment in time.
3) If you are the kind of person that don’t like conflict or afraid to offend someone, remember you are doing more harm than good to the person. If you truly care about that someone, you will speak the truth, just like how you would voice out to your parents, children or even to your close friends.
4) Say it tactfully and say it with the right tone. No point shouting just to be heard when all they hear are negative things or worse still if the person completely shuts down.
5) Always think before you speak. You don’t want to regret saying things that you don’t mean. Relationship takes time to build and words can destroy your relationship within seconds just by your hurtful words. It is better to control your anger and keep yourself calm as once your words are out, you can’t take them back.
From my observation, there are two categories of people: they either don’t speak their mind because they are afraid of confrontation, or they don’t speak their mind because they felt that nothing will change even after speaking up.
You must know that speaking your mind is to share your thoughts and feelings in order to have a two-way conversation. It is not about you being right. No point getting a nod when they don’t fully understand and agree with what you said.
Before speaking your mind, it is important to have a clear idea of what you would like to achieve and know why you are saying it in order to achieve a productive conversation.