Friday, 30 October 2015

Selective Speaking



This coming Saturday, my mom is going to this talk to find out more about the job offer she found out recently from God-knows-where. This job offer seems quite promising, attractive and enticing (imagine five figure monthly salary around 40+k by just managing a newly set up company by a local tycoon). The problem is it's too good to be true. Whenever there is an offer you think it is too good to be true, it probably is. RUN THE OTHER WAY, don't walk!

The hard truth with this world is this is an extremely realistic world we live in. Everyone tries to take advantage on everyone else, where only the strongest (read: trickiest and most cunning) people thrive with the most greedy blokes being the easiest victims.

But my mom would beg to differ. This is weird but for some reasons women are easier to fall prey to unscrupulous conmen with a myriad of cunning yet intricate scams, all for the sake of easy money. She has fallen into a trap before, forcing her to be financially stretched for a certain period. She was greedy and she had to pay for the consequences but I don't blame her. Who isn't? To a certain degree all of us possess greed, but our ability (or rather, inability) to control our greed would ultimately determine our financial decisions and thus, financial position.

She has not learnt the lesson. Or perhaps she has learnt the lesson and is a little smarter now, but still the fact that she decided to attend this talk shows the direct opposite. To me, it is a waste of time. It is just too good to be true, there's no free lunch in this world. People can promise the whole world as the reward if you decided to join in, but you really ought to discern whether it is realistic. Again, there's never a free lunch in this world.

Yesterday night when my dad was warning my mom not to make any foolish decision, the situation was not pleasant. She said "I'm going there just to check out, nothing more! I want to check out what's the catch!" In my mind I was saying: "But really, if you are smart enough, you will never consider wasting your two to three hours travelling all the way to KL and listen to such superfluous nonsense." And indeed if the reward was so rich, they wouldn't use such naive approach to hire the management. Multiple interviews of systematic approach would have been carried out to hire the best candidates.

As much as I hate to admit, I was rather tempted to blast out all the reasons why she shouldn't waste her three hours time and unnecessary expenses on petrol. I thought it was doltish! But what would have happened? You see, everyone has pride and no one in this world is happy to see one's pride being smashed on the ground. Whenever one is met with harsh feedback and critics in front of the whole world, it is not a nice scene to behold. Even a conversation between two people, this rule still holds true.

So I was in the car with my mom this morning. Again we spoke about this topic, but I decided not to hurt her pride. She probably has had enough of those from my dad. Hurtful and embarrasing remarks. Had I not managed my words properly, it would have not only hurt her pride but it may also inflict unintended consequences on her thinking. This may result in this: "Now he is all grown up and he doesn't need me anymore. He has full grown wings now that he is ready to fly!". She would have felt disappointed and betrayed.

That is the last thing I want her to feel. Over time, I have learnt that whenever I yelled at her with my utmost honest opinions, even if they make every perfect sense, they would be rebuked with total revulsion. So what I did was I chose my words very meticulously. I said to her with a nice tone, "You may have become smarter after the last incident, but you must be very careful with this ad. It doesn't sound right and most likely it is not going to be true".  The way I spoke to her changed her reaction.

So here's the key, the only suitable way to get my message across and ensure she accepts the message is through selective speaking with soft tone. It is not uncommon that the way you speak would be reciprocated, and that was what happened. I just hope she would finally understand our underlying concern, the reasons why all of us (my family members) are sending such strong signal to her, hope that she won't fall prey to the cunning and deceitful people again.

Where else can you practice selective speaking? Everywhere, really. Say, if your colleague has just received a bad scolding from his boss, would you go forward and say something sensitive to him? I hope you wouldn't. Rather, practice selective speaking and speak words of encouragement into his life. I promise you will instantly get a lifelong friend. Words of encouragement are getting scarce nowadays, speak more of these will help you to be more emphathetic.

So remember, whenever you are tempted to criticise someone, think of all possible consequences. Weighing the pros and cons before speaking are far more effective than saying it blatantly and yield negative returns and repugnance. And always practice selective speaking with soft tone. It wins the conversation.


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