Talk is Cheap: Use Words Wisely

How often have you heard someone say that "…talk is cheap?" Literally scores of times would be my guess. Usually you will hear this when someone is speaking about an individual who would much rather talk than listen or work to solve a problem. They just...


As they are so fond of saying in the movie business, "…cut to the chase." You will accomplish far more in a face-to-face confrontation than through emails, tweets, phone calls and intermediaries. Stop with the "he said/she said" nonsense. Be sincere, be firm, when necessary, and conciliatory as needed. 

Let me urge you to understand just how important the choice of words is in any such interaction. What you say is at least as important as how you say it. Here are some words which I have found to be extremely effective: 

  • Thank you.
  • I don't know.
  • I really value your opinion.
  • I need your help.
  • What can we do to make this work?

Words may be cheap, but the communications process is not easy. Let me suggest that you work on it every chance you get. Whatever you do in your fire service career, be sure to exploit every opportunity to spend some time and some words with your fellow travelers.

I am fairly certain that the results will be worth the effort. Let me suggest that you will find a world of solutions on the opposite side of a little well-chosen and well-place verbiage. As I said in the title of this commentary, talk is cheap, so spend as much as you want. Just be polite and respectful. The dividends will be great and tax free to boot.