“This is what I NEED them to do,” a client said during our call recently. I had to squash the groan that was trying to escape my mouth.
The words and the tone of voice this client used were enough to ensure that “they” were not at all likely to do what she wanted them to do. “They” were her peers. She was asserting authority that she didn’t have.
Here are steps you can take to have successful conversations that don’t turn into unnecessary conflict.
Look At the Words You Use
“I need,” “I want,” and “you should” are good ways to send a conversation downhill before you’ve really gotten started.
When you use those expressions, you come across as a dictator. The persons you’re talking at — not with — can feel belittled, bullied, run over, and more. They’ll possibly end up thinking you’re a jerk.