6 ways of being impeccable with your word
Are you impeccable with your word?
Or do your words tend to roll around your head and even out of your mouth before others have finished speaking: almost a competition to get your thoughts out before you forget and therefore barely listening to those you converse with?
"Be Impeccable with your word: speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love."
In my teaching years with university journalism students, I noticed one student who always, always, paused before he spoke.
Whether he responded to me, another student or presenting to class: you could physically see he took the time to think before speaking.
It struck me as a sign of respect to take the time to absorb someone’s words before responding with genuine thought.
In The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement Ruiz prescribes is to be impeccable with our words.
Here are six ideas on how to be more impeccable with your words:
1. Take time to listen. Try to not be eager to spill out your own thoughts before others are finished (tough one!). Really tune in which likely means put your mobile down, turn away from the PC, turn the TV off and look at people while they are speaking.
2. Trial taking at least 5-10 seconds to truly pause and think about what another person has said before responding: this may be difficult as our culture tends to expect instant responses. Taking too long might elicit strange faces; irritation or people repeating themselves to you. Keep doing so and people will look forward to the fact you take the time to be thoughtful.
3. Practise using immediate responses of your own favourite words to show people you have listened: “that’s so interesting”; “wow, fascinating”; “that’s terrific”; “can you tell me more about ____” or “that’s appalling”; “gosh what a terrible challenge”. Notice these phrases do not launch into a competitive story about yourself. Write a list so you get used to the type of wording you wish you could think of in the moment: especially useful when dealing with difficult, irrational or rude people.
4. Choose your words slowly and carefully: even that few extra seconds can save you from saying something you didn’t mean or doesn’t make sense or perhaps comes across as inappropriate. Really pause and think to choose the right words. You may need to say “just a moment while I think” and notice you will start to say less.
5. Practise only using words you are comfortable with: again, you may wish to research words you like using more in conversation and words you believe in. This will make it easier to be impeccable with your words. Don’t like swearing but it comes out – come up with alternatives.
6. Think of your words as a contract: if you were upheld to the words you use how would you speak differently? If you tell someone “I’ll be there” but don’t mean it, what are the repercussions? People will trust you less, invite you less, think you’re a flake or simply not think your words have much value. Practise saying “I’ll try to be there” or whatever suits, even if it’s “no, I won’t be able to”.
Disclaimer: this blog post is intended as a beautiful and thought-provoking article for entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for medical care. No representations are made as to the completeness of any information and the author is not liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the use of this information.
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