People Skills: Replace The Deadly Don’t You Think | #PeopleSkills
by Kate Nasser |
I often write about specific words or phrases that can ruin an interaction or destroy your professional people skills image in one quick moment. Most of them are subtly insulting, evasive, and/or manipulative — even without intention.
Today’s deadly phrase is:
Don’t You Think?
It is a statement masquerading as a question.
It sneakily demands agreement while posing as an option.
It is high pressure with low integrity.
It blocks listening by starting with a negative.
It pretends to engage yet disengages.
“Don’t You Think”
Makes you look like the great pretender. Are you asking or telling?
Suggests other’s views are unimportant or stupid.
Makes you seem narrow minded or bull headed.
Subordinates others to you.
A close cousin of “don’t you think” — “I’m sure you agree”-– has the same passive aggressive vibe and negative effect on your professional people skills image and on other people.
Better People Skills Alternatives
I think … If you are going to express your opinion, state it clearly as your opinion. Transferring your opinion to others as “don’t you think”, is presumptuous, patronizing, and rude.
What do you think? This simple question opens true respectful dialogue that can lead to new options, positive relationships, and true agreement. Don’t you think is a monologue; what do you think is a dialogue.
What if we … In casual conversations where you might use “don’t you think”, this alternative has a positive tone and invites feedback instead of telling and demanding agreement.
Whether you are a new graduate beginning your career, a seasoned team member establishing new relationships, or a leader trying to engage employees, saying “don’t you think” will block the positive interaction you seek.
Instead, establish an authentic, respectful, open-minded reputation through every word you say.
This will open doors to opportunities you never dreamed possible.
Is there another word or phrase that you would add to the list of deadly phrases?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2012-2018 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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