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Chapter 25. Getting Less Difficult—The W... > Replacing Confrontational Language w... - Pg. 270

Getting Less Difficult--The Words, Ma'am, Just the Words 270 Employees understand this to mean it must get done on time, but it's communicated in a let's-work- together way. How about the second one? There are times when managers need to make decisions. Heck, some- one has to do it. But the important part is to not sound like Attila the Hun when you communicate it. What's a better way? How about this? "We've tried to come to some agreement but haven't succeeded. Because we need a decision right now and I'm the one responsible for the decision, this is the way we'll go for now." Isn't that a better way to talk? No throwing your weight around. No rubbing a person's face in your power. And let's look at the third. Rather than telling a person what they need to do (particularly when you haven't been asked), you can use a question form to soften the effect. For example: "My guess is it makes sense to file this under 'mail,' but if you have a better idea, let me know, so I know where to look." Are you getting the idea here? Almost anything can be softened so it sounds cooperative. Cooper- ative phrasing still gets the job done. And when you start moving away from confrontational language you start being seen as a really great manager who isn't difficult at all. Get Rid of the Mistrust Stuff Whether you trust a person or not, it's not a good thing to throw that mistrust or lack of confidence in someone's face. In fact, to do so often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. People tend to live up to (or down to) what others expect from them. So we want to eliminate most of the mistrust statements. But we still may need to address issues related to reliability, so we need to replace mistrust state-