One Shalt Remember These Words

In teaching a college-level class recently, my students and I were exposed to a great book by Laurie Beth Jones titled “Jesus, Entreprenuer.” One component of the book stood out to me as a good one to blog about, as it proposed a new way to think about decision making.

This is referred to as the “SHALT” rule. It applies to our decision making and communications. SHALT is an acronym for Sad, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. So, since this blog is about human communications, let me explain my take on this.

How many times have we said something we wish we would not have? How many instances have we written something that we later regret? How often have we acted in a manner in which we wished we could have a “do over?”

I know I have had these situations in my life and so have you. Why? We are human. So, the “SHALT” rule is one that can help us become better in our decision making and communications. If you are sad, it is better not to make a big decision because you are not thinking 100 percent. Instead, find a time when you are feeling better and then (with a clear head) make the decision. Second, many of us get quite grumpy when we are hungry. So, if you have not eaten, it is likely you will not be thinking clearly and may say or write something you may later regret. So, wait until that meal digests and then calmly express what you seek to communicate.

How about when we are angry? I know this is a big one for many of us. In the world of social media (online all the time) it is easy to fire off a tweet, Facebook post, text, or e-mail in a matter of seconds. You know the drill, when someone makes you mad—it is best to light into them right then and there. I am kidding. No, this is not the best thing to do. Like sadness, anger is simply an emotion that will settle itself in time, and you will thus be calmer and can be more objective in your communications. I can literally say, 90 percent of the time, that when I have ever written or said something “in the moment when angry” it has turned out to be something I have regretted as it did not come across the right way.

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Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies. The firm consults with the front end of privately held printing and related organizations across North America. The areas of focus are: sales growth, brand positioning, organizational strategy, and integrated marketing (with an emphasis on social media). Sauers speaks at many national events and writes feature articles in global publications. He is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and entrepreneurship. Sauers is also the author of the best-selling book "Everyone is in Sales" and the newest book "Would You Buy from You?" Please visit: SauersConsulting.com.
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