You may want to work on your delivery

We all love to see the Amazon truck pull up to our house with a delivery a couple of hours after we hit the “Pay Now” button. And who doesn’t love seeing flowers being delivered to our home for no particular reason? But that is not the kind of delivery I am talking about.

I’ve shared with many audiences, and in my writings, how Louie behaves when anyone enters my home—he’s not very nice. In the ten years I’ve had him, he has never experienced someone coming to the door and creating havoc of any kind. His protectiveness is overbearing and honestly, unnerving. Especially since I love to entertain.

I decided to have Louie settle in his crate downstairs in my family room while I entertain. Removing him from the situation seemed the best
choice for him and for me. This works great… until Louie figures out there are people in the house and starts barking. But with enough music and chatter, it doesn’t take long for him to settle down.

One group of guests had hoped to meet Louie. I kept him in his crate while we ate dinner and then brought him upstairs to meet my guests afterward out on the deck. As soon as I opened Louie’s crate, he bolted up the stairs, panting for me to open the door to the first floor. I gave him the command to settle, but as soon as I opened the door, he flew past me, barking and scampering across my wood floor, barely getting any traction, hoping to scare off the intruders. He’s all show.

This gave me PAWS as I thought about how our delivery affects our message. We may have great advice or ideas to share, but if our delivery is gruff and abrupt or even condescending, others will not hear the message, no matter how many times we share it. People will often say, “Oh, that’s just my delivery.” I guarantee that when those words are uttered, whatever message was shared is not heard.

The next time you have an important message to share with someone, be aware of your delivery!

Before opening your mouth, practice the PAWS method.

1. PAUSE: There is power in the pause. I’ve never regretted my pauses—but too often, I have regretted my words.

2. ASK: Ask questions to better understand if the person is ready to hear your message. It’s not always about you, and though you may have information you think someone needs to hear, perhaps you can ask a question that opens the door to greater understanding

3. WISDOM: Choose your words wisely. When we speak from a place of wisdom, people are more inclined to listen. Carefully consider the words you are about to say. If they are not life-giving, do not say them. Nothing good comes from useless, mindless words.

4. SEEK TO UNDERSTAND: Why are you sharing the message? Do you understand the other person well enough to know if they need to hear it—or do you need to share it and impress others with the knowledge you believe you have? Stop and seek to understand how your words will help the other person.

The PAWS method has helped many leaders step back and assess whether they should share a message. This Christmas, many family members and friends could benefit from us practicing the PAWS method as we come together to celebrate. Be kind in words and deeds.

As for Louie, there is no pause button. It is full-on, deliver the message with as much gusto as possible. Worry about scaring people later. That’s my Lou!

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