You’d better T.H.I.N.K.

While you may be able to get away with it in your personal life, disrespectful, offensive language has no place at work. Before you write or speak, T.H.I.N.K.

Is the message you’re about to share:

True? If you didn’t see it, hear it or experience it first-hand or you don’t have concrete evidence that something happened, you shouldn’t share it. Don’t aid and abet the spreading of lies and gossip.

Helpful? Are you offering information that can help your co-workers, boss or organization? Will your words make their life better in some way? If not, what is the purpose of sharing it? If your intent is to “put someone in their place,” brag about yourself or insult someone, keep it to yourself.

Inspiring? Will what you say motivate people or build their enthusiasm? Or will your rant be filled with negativity, complaints and whining? Not all news is good news, but how you present it to people can be optimistic.

Necessary? Do you really need to correct a co-worker? Share details of your personal life? Tell that joke? Go on that political tirade? If your words benefit no one other than you, don’t speak them.

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Kind? You will share disappointing news and unpopular decisions. You will question people’s decisions, provide negative feedback and disagree. You may even need to reprimand and terminate people. The situation or topic may be difficult, but you can always choose to be kind and respectful.