Those who know me know I’m not a fan of doling out advice. But I have no problem sharing great advice I’ve received from others along my journey through corporate America. I was gifted this little nugget a few years ago and it has to do with making sure you’ve thoughtfully considered not just your words, but also their timing and the appropriateness of you delivering the message.

So, consider the following before you speak:

Does this really need to be said?

Does this really need to be said now?

Does this really need to be said now by me?

If you run through that mental checklist with three affirmatives, speak away. If not, perhaps it’s better to listen and think a little more. You might just avoid a damaging “she said WHAT?!” moment.