How to Say Nasty Things Nicely- 12 Phrases that will save your work relationships!
Can you imagine a world in which you could say exactly what you wanted, in the way you wanted? It sounds satisfying and quite fun but in reality, you probably wouldn’t be left with many friends, especially if you expressed, without any censuring, your anger or frustration or your more romantic feelings for that matter!
In a working environment, it’s even more important to moderate how you express yourself. When you work in a group dynamic, there will always be conflict and most of the time, it’s because of a lack of communication or destructive communication. You don’t have to join in. You can save yourself stress by avoiding conflict caused by unskillful communication. Read on to find out how.
There are so many scenarios in which you don’t know how to respond or you shut down. There are times when people offer unwanted opinions, steal your ideas, lie, interrupt you in meetings, openly tell you that you are wrong, try to take credit for your work. These are just a few examples of behaviours that can infuriate and it is difficult to know how to respond in a professional and grown up way. In many contexts, how you are perceived is important because it supports your credibility as a leader, a colleague and a self- assured, confident human being.
The point of this blog post is to help you confront those scenarios in an empowered and mature manner. It looks professional and is emotionally balanced. There is no need to get angry, but there is a need to present yourself assertively so that your mental health remains in tact, no matter what the context.
Key phrases translated for use within any professional context
Here are some phrases we would love to say to co-workers, bosses, contractors and many other people. You’ll also find a nicer translation which is polite, respective and constructive.
- “No, you’re wrong about that.” Let’s look at it from a different angle and consider another possible solution/ interpretation.
- “You’re lying.” Could you talk me through how you reached that conclusion? Could you please clarify …?
- “Don’t interrupt me when I am speaking,” I hadn’t finished what I was saying, let me tell you what I was going to say.
- “Do as you are told,” Do you need some support to carry out my instructions?
- “Mind your own business,” Thank you for your comments, I’ll take them into consideration.”
- “I don’t care about your personal problems, that work needs to be done by the agreed deadline,” I am sorry to hear about your problems, that must be hard. I am sure you understand how urgent this task is so could you let me know what support you need to get this done on time?
- “That was my idea FFS!” Thank you for recognising my idea . I have been working on it for a while now and can talk you through how I have/ will put it into practice and more importantly, what you can do to help me bring it to life.
- “Stop being such an a@sshole!” Let’s focus on how we can encourage growth and communication to ensure that all team members have an opportunity to contribute positively to our working enviroment.
- “I’m not wrong, you wouldn’t understand my view if your life depended on it!” Thank for your comments. I’ll review them with interest.
- “Go away,” Thank you for your comments. I’ll get back to you asap.
- “I can’t do that, I have too much to do,” I have several competing deadlines but could finish your task by late next week. Does that work for you?
- “I can’t deal with this today,” Could we please reschedule for another time?
As always, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Keep it neutral, focus on your professional image and remember, if you need distance from a conflict, take it. When you feel calmer, you communicate better!
I’d love to read your comments and your own diplomatic translations. Feel free to leave some tips for other readers .