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The How-To Lounge: Saying What You Mean

Even though I’m constantly going on and on about the importance of communication, I’ll be the first to admit that communicating well is a very difficult thing to master — there’s a reason why we often refer to miscommunication. Sometimes it’s all too easy for lines to get crossed, and before you know it what you said was not at all what you meant. Since I’m sure this is a common problem, I’ve come up with a few tips so you can finally start saying what you mean. To see them just


  • Think before you speak! It may be the most obvious suggestion I have, but I also think it’s the most often forgotten. Give yourself a three-second window to make sure you realize what you’re about to say.
  • It’s not just important that you’re aware of what you’re saying before you say it, it’s also critical to consider the way you say it. A single word can distort the meaning of your message, so be cautious.
  • The most direct route between two points is a straight line. In other words, take a straightforward approach and try to avoid talking in circles. Pick a point and make it.
  • As you speak to someone, don’t be afraid to stop and clarify the conversation every once and a while. It will help keep you both on the same page.
  • If you just can’t say it, try writing it out first. It will help you focus your thoughts, and in many cases, allow you to realize what you’re really trying to say.

Make sure to take your time. It's better to be slow and thoughtful now than end up kicking yourself later.


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