I don’t know what it is about the last few weeks – maybe the change of season; maybe something in the water – but I’ve been absolutely amazed at how often people have showed a complete lack of comprehension for who was in the room with them.
This may sound more calculating than I intend it to, but I think its a good practice to always consider who you’re talking to before you start in on a conversation. This is especially true when you’re negotiating for something, making a request or otherwise trying to drive to a specific outcome. I’ve witnessed several pretty amazing examples of a complete lack of thoughtfulness around this notion of late. From making idle (and counter-productive) threats, to inappropriate requests, to outright lying (which was sure to be uncovered).
Stop and think…then talk.