Don’t let your own words or actions undermine you. Words indict and actions condemn. Be mindful of what you say and to whom it is said. An ill-timed word can set off a chain reaction that can consume your good name. As a rule, people are better at forgiving than forgetting. So if your words are to be unforgettable, choose them well. Don’t play the bull in the fine china shop only to find out later that you still have to eat off those plates or count those votes. Demonstrate self discipline and mind what you say. No one can say what he or she wants with impunity. In the US, Free Speech is a right that comes with rules and responsibility. Your words are seeds that either bring forth life or stamp it out. Good seeds flower into healthy relationships and life-long partnerships that stand time’s tests and the economy’s pitfalls. Bad seeds grow weeds the choke the life out of your relationships and rob you of the promise of the future.
Words of thanksgiving, praise, encouragement, concern, unity, and genuine interest are simple acts of kindness that will open doors for you. Words of malice, prejudice, sexism, unwarranted reproach, hatred, and discord will close them to you forever.
If it is true that your reputation will proceed you, then it stands to reason that your own words and past actions are the vehicles that propel them forward. Mastery of one’s own tongue is a hallmark of executive maturity and should be a prerequisite for leadership.
How well do you communicate? Which is more important to you, form or content? How many times a week are you having to apologize for an ill-timed word? Are you really that blunt or do you lack self control? Does your communication style help you to build meaningful relationships?