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Hold that thought. Three simple words; one underutilized strategy. So often, in an attempt to make things better, I make things worse by talking. I come by it naturally. My mother once told me, “Dan, God wouldn’t put people in the elevator with you unless he wanted you to talk to them.” The problem is that words can easily fuel power struggles.

Several times this past week I bit my tongue when I really wanted to prove a point. It took every ounce of my being to inhibit my natural instinct to talk. Of course, I didn’t get my point in, but I’m guessing the people to whom I was talking weren’t interested in my opinion or open to feedback at that time anyway.

Output is turned on and input is turned off when individuals are in a fueled emotional state. This means we have to fight the urge to vent and rebut. Just as we can’t reason with crazy, we need to remember not to add words to crazy. Sometimes the best response is simply not to respond at all.