A few years ago, my friend Erin Schreyer posted this saying on her Facebook page. That afternoon, the image found its place onto our family’s refrigerator, where it remains to this day. We’ve had many meaningful conversations using the “THINK” model. From spats with siblings, to ways to talk to a friend about a difficult subject, this acronym helps quells the urge to blurt something out that may do more harm than good.
The “THINK” model also serves a useful purpose in the workplace. How many times have you blurted out something you wish you could take back? You can use the “THINK” model to help you process your thoughts before you speak so that you will talk less and listen more.
The “THINK” Model for the Workplace
Is it true?
- What factual evidence do I have to support my claim?
- Might there be other versions of the “truth” out there?
- Do I have the whole story?
- Even if it is true, will it make a positive difference to speak up?
Is it helpful?
- Is my true intent to help?
- Will this person be receptive to my assistance?
- If I say something right now, might I make things worse instead of better?
- Is there a better time to offer my help?
Is it necessary?
- What would happen if I just “let it be” for a few days?
- Who stands to benefit by me speaking up right now?
- What will be gained by saying this?
- Am I trying to give someone a dose of “their own medicine” or “reality”?
Is it kind?
- Is sparing this person’s feelings at this moment the best course of action?
- Is there an element of payback: “He’s never nice to me, so why should I be nice to him?”
- Can I speak out with true compassion for this person’s situation?
People who are influential tend to be those who are able to shut up and listen. Use these 15 powerful questions to help you build productive relationships with your peers and colleagues at work.