Have you ever pondered the relentless strength of the tongue? It is a small part of the body yet it carries great power!
We use our tongue to praise Destiny and, in another breath, curse Destiny’s design. We pour praise and contempt from the same mouth
How can this be?
What change might we affect with a transformation of our speech?
If you’d like to see a shift happen in your business, with your coworkers, in your personal relationships, or even more broadly within your culture then follow these 5 steps. You have the power and influence to transform unhealthy, destructive, stifling, and caustic environments.
The first step to bringing peace into any negative situation is to refuse to participate in any negative conversation about someone else unless you can be part of the solution to the problem.
How often has it happened to you that a coworker, friend, or family member approaches you with something akin to: ”Have you heard the latest about Sally? Did you know that she left him; her son is on meth; her daughter is pregnant; he lost his job; she cheated on him; she was fired; they lost their home; he lost custody of his children”, etc., etc., etc.? Once those negative thoughts get planted in your mind, they will color absolutely everything else you hear about that individual and their situation.
Instead, learn deflection questions. Deflect the negativity with an innocuous and distracting question, “What did you eat for breakfast today?” “Did you ever get around to watching that movie?” “How’s the renovation progressing?” Throw the bearer-of-bad-news off with a distracting question.
Secondly, if you hear something negative about someone you love then check in with them. Allow yourself the opportunity to discern the truth of the situation firsthand rather than working from someone else’s input and point of view.
Ask questions of love and concern, free of accusation and suspicion. “Is there anything I need to know?” “Is there anything you need right now?”
Thirdly, if you hear something that haunts you don’t assume that it’s the full truth. This can be something in your immediate family or circle of friends. It can also be something cultural, something in the media.
Exercise the higher energy of listening and sharing love. We don’t need to know the details of what’s happening. It feels better to love than to know the private details of someone else’s life or pitfall.
Fourthly, refuse to judge information about someone at face value. This pertains to those within close proximity to you. Whatever you hear, remember there’s two sides to every story.
If you hear something negative about someone, the human tendency is to shut off (to some extent) to that person. Remember, negative news is not to be taken at full value.
If something negative is spoken to you before you can deflect, quickly speak 4-5 positive thoughts aloud concerning that individual in order to discourage your mind from harboring unsubstantiated negativity towards that individual. This will allow you to remain in a state of peace and love towards that person.
Finally, step number five, if you need to confront someone, don’t tell anyone else. If you process your heart with people about negative information about someone else, especially if you’re going through a divorce or a business separation, they will take what you say at full value. This might feel good in the heat of the moment, but when the emotion, hurt, or betrayal dissipates you will be left with a network of friends who can only support you in making a decision that’s based on your emotional state rather than a state of clarity, stability, and groundedness.
For this reason, it’s good to have 2-3 close friends or processors that serve to talk things through with you. If you have this small, consistent group of processors they will come to know you well enough to be able to discern your moodiness, emotionalism, hurt, and anger so that they can provide trustworthy input rather than a mirroring of your own emotions. Your processors will come to know your tendencies and hear you and love you appropriately for where you are in that moment.
If we prove trustworthy with people’s reputations in our mouth and we start to love them and care about who they are, we will gain influence in places that we could have never otherwise gained entrance. This principle extends to every circle of our respective cultures.
Before you even have need of them, pick 2-3 people that you’re going to do life with over the next five years. Even if they’re not going to be around for the next five years, pick them as if they are. These people will be your processors.
Over the course of the next 7 days, watch your mouth. Every night, rehearse the conversations you had that day. This isn’t a time to beat yourself up or wallow in regret. It’s meant to be a simple exercise for improvement, not debasement. Simply ask yourself, “What could I have done differently? What could I have said better? How could I have honored them more? What could have built that relationship more? When I was talking about her, did I do it well? When I shared that story, was I honoring?”
If you’re looking to make a lasting change, rehearse each day’s speech at the close of the day for the next 30 days. Let’s discipline ourselves to make every decision out of peace and love.
We can start to do this by asking a couple simple questions: Where was peace in that moment? Where was love in that moment?
By our very nature, we are change agents, equipped to affect history and humanity. Let’s leave a legacy of peace and love.
How will you consciously invite peace and love into your speech today?