T.H.I.N.K. Before Speaking

“Did I seriously just say that?” Whether it is something hurtful, inappropriate or just the wrong words at the wrong time, we’ve all spoken thoughtlessly before. The thing is, it can be easy to let our emotions get the best of us and say the wrong thing, especially if we’re having a stressful day. At work, communicating with our team members intentionally is important. Saying things that build each other up and help us accomplish our goals is important. Saying things that tear each other down and distract from our shared team goals can be extremely harmful. 

So, what can we do to help ourselves say the right things when we’re stressed or upset? Take a mental pause and use the acronym T.H.I.N.K to assess whether you should actually say what you’re thinking. 

Before you speak something, ask yourself these questions: 

T —Is it true? In both our work and home lives, saying things that are truthful is so important. When we always say things that are true, we become trustworthy in the eyes of others. 

H — Is it helpful? If our words aren’t helping others, it may be better to stay quiet and reconsider if what we have to say is worth communicating.  

I — Is it inspiring? Especially at work, we want our words to help encourage others on our team. 

N — Is it necessary? Consider if our words will have a purpose before you express them. 

K — Is it kind? Life is already difficult, and we can never know what people are going through. For that reason, we need to make sure our words have a kind intent before we say them. 


  1. What is one situation where taking a mental pause before you spoke could have helped you avoid saying the wrong thing? 
  2. Has someone ever said the wrong thing to you? How did you respond to that situation? 
  3. What is a situation that you can imagine using the T.H.I.N.K. acronym to help you communicate?