Make your words count too

I have heard “Actions speak louder than words” since
I was knee high. The meaning is clear. Saying I will fix
the fence doesn’t keep the dog in the yard. An example
showing why “do it now” is a good habit.

Spoken or written words are easier to produce, harder
to remember and less impressive than some other
actions but they are still necessary. When used well,
words are the best and most effective communication
device known to humans. Well done conversations
are important whether typed or in person.

Some pitfalls to be avoided are:

1. Exaggerating to make you and what you say seem
more important. It is like trying to look bigger or
smaller. People see through it.

2. Using technical terms to impress a non-technical
audience. Their minds will soon be elsewhere.

3. Talking too loud or writing in all caps is an irritation.
If your goal is to be noticed, wear a funny hat.

4. Hogging the conversation. Try to listen at least half
of the time.

Other things to consider are:

Descriptions are from a unique attitude and point of
view. They can differ greatly from observations by
another person with a different vantage point. Even
a picture may not show everything seen in person.
“It seemed to me”, or “It looked like” is better than “It is”.

Predictions are guesses that can be based on research,
previous experiences or hunches. Whether they are
about war, weather, politics, sports or anything else
they are no sure thing. “Probably” or “usually” is
better than “It will”.

Promises have been kept, ignored, forgotten, evaded
as needed even if they are written and legally certified.
A promise is a vow or a pledge about the future.
“I intend to” or “I’ll do my best” is more realistic for
every day things. Save “I promise” for your wedding day.

Pictures may be worth a thousand words but they don’t
do justice to a number of things. Thoughts, feelings,
emotions can not be seen. Those things precede
anything visible and affect every day of our lives.
Without the use of words first my actions can be
misunderstood. If what I think is embarrassing or
hurtful I should figure out why and to whom.

Communicating my thoughts and feelings helps
others to understand me. Life gets much easier when
we understand each other.

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