Avoid These Phrases in a Tough Conversation…

Navigating Through Tough Moments

Difficult conversations are difficult for a reason, and when you’re anxious or stressed out, it’s easy to say the wrong thing. To keep the interaction from going sideways, avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Don’t assume your perspective is obvious. Steer clear of phrases like “clearly,” “obviously,” or “without a doubt,” which are likely to insult your counterpart.
  2. Don’t exaggerate. Skip any statements that start with “You always…” or “You never…” They’re rarely true.
  3. Don’t challenge someone’s character or integrity. You’ll just make the person defensive if you tell them they’re “unprofessional,” “wrong,” or “unethical.”
  4. Don’t tell others what they should do. People feel judged by “should” statements. Try saying “You might consider…,” “One possibility is…,” or “Have you thought of…?” instead.
  5. Don’t say “It’s not personal.” Recognize that even when it’s not personal to you, it might be for the other person.

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