The trick to using your words well


Have you ever played egg toss? The game is a classic team-building exercise where two member teams face each other,  take a raw egg and pass it back and forth between them.  Every time they exchange the egg, they take a step away from one another making the toss more precarious and difficult.

The goal is to be the last team standing, with a whole egg while other teams ends up with broken egg on their hands (or worse).

When you play this game, besides wishing you had better eye/hand coordination, what you hope for is a partner who knows how to toss the egg far, accurately,and, most important, gently.

This weekend I was at a wedding and a girlfriend (Molly) of the bride (Jade) gave an amazing toast at the rehearsal dinner.  During her toast, Molly said what she appreciated most about Jade was the way she spoke, how wisely she used her words.

Molly remarked, "Jade doesn't throw words about.  She acts like she's playing egg toss and thinks about how to speak gently.  She would never just slam words to the ground."

Whoa.  This is high praise.

I love a good word picture and the egg toss is now permanently etched in my brain.

There's something about the idea of speaking gently that was very convicting.  See, Jade isn't a push-over. She hold strong opinions and sincere beliefs, but she's still thoughtful and circumspect with her words.

I aspire to have this description apply to me.  In fact, if you'll allow me to push the egg toss analogy a little further, the entire experience is easier under the following conditions:

  • When you stay close to your partner
  • When you stay flexible and light on your feet
  • When you pay attention to what your partner needs

I told you I love a good word picture!

How well do you deliver your words?

Would your co-workers like to play egg toss with you?  How about your friends?  Do your kids find your approach gentle?

Would people describe you the way Molly described Jade?

Or perhaps you can join me on growing more in this area.

Ready. Set. Toss!