Dear Customers and Friends:
Several years ago, when my daughter Courtney was 12, she taught me a lesson in communications that I’ve never forgotten.

I was driving along a busy street when my observant child noticed from her backseat perch that I was about to make a mistake. A left-hand turn was coming up, and I was in the far right lane – which meant I was either going to miss the turn or have an accident crossing traffic.

“Dad, are you supposed to turn right?” she asked, calmly.

“Oh Honey, you are absolutely right! My bad,” I said while driving into the correct turning lane.
It was a casual remark, but afterward I thought about the maturity in which Courtney handled the situation. The typical backseat driver might have panicked and screamed, “You idiot, you’re in the wrong lane!” But Courtney chose to be more diplomatic.

We have backseat drivers at the office, too. You surely have experienced the co-worker who over-dramatizes a challenging situation when a kindly worded offer to help might resolve the problem more effectively – and with less stress.

The Bible offers many lessons on communicating the right way. Proverbs 16:21 advises that “the wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” Kind words open hearts to hear what you’re saying. Complaints and finger pointing typically are more hurtful than helpful.
Gracious words also can be healing – like a “honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones,” according to Proverbs 16:24.

You may find it difficult to always speak kindly, especially when you’re in a bad mood. And it’s even harder to hold your tongue when you’re the recipient of a harsh word or accusation. However, Proverbs 15:1 advises that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Whether in the workplace or at home, let’s all choose our words carefully and keep the temperature down. The weather’s already hot enough lately without adding a few more degrees.

Blessed to be a Blessing,
Greg Syfan
President, Syfan Logistics

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18