Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Hello Fellow Followers!

Today I’d like to chat about communicating with impact when in stressful situations. For many of us learning to communicate in a respectful yet assertive way takes practice. In fact it’s similar to learning a second language. Especially when the environment or past experiences with that individual/s hasn’t historically been harmonious. Many of us feel like a deer in headlights when someone says something insulting, hurtful, or presumptuous, and we have no comeback prepared.

So here are some ideas for you that I found from counsellor Andrea Watcher:


  • What makes you ask that?
  • What makes you say that?
  • I’ll have to get back to you on that.
  •  I need to take some time and think about it.
  • That’s not going to work for me.
  • I wish I had said that differently. Can I get a do-over?
  • What do you want to have happen right now?
  • What do you need in order for this to feel complete?
  • That hurts.
  • I don’t necessarily need you to agree or understand what I am saying but I would really appreciate it if you would try to accept it.
  • It seems like from your response that I may not have communicated clearly or that you may have misunderstood what I said (or did) I would like to try again if you are up for it.
  • I know I agreed to do that, but I changed my mind. I’m very sorry.
  • I understand that’s how you feel. And this is how I feel.
  • It’s okay if we disagree.
  • What do you need from me right now?
  • It’s okay for you to be mad, but it’s not okay for you to be mean.
  • I am wondering if you would be willing to lower your voice because it is upsetting meand I really want to hear what you have to say.
  • If you can’t lower your voice, I am going to have to take a break from this conversation even though I really do want to hear what you have to say.
  • I feel a lot of strong emotions over what you just said, and I don’t want to react harshly, so I would like to take some time before I respond.
  • I am curious: What is your intention in saying that?
  • I will totally take a look at that.
  • This feels awkward but I need to tell you that __________________.
  • I am making up a story about what you are thinking. Can I check it out with you and see if it’s true?
  • I want to hear what you have to say but the way you are saying it is scaring me.
  • What you have to say is important to me but it’s getting lost in the way you are saying it.
  • I am so sorry that I hurt your feelings. That was truly not my intention.
  • I have a request to make. If you can do it, that’s great and if you can’t, that’s fine too. I am just going to ask.
  • I know you love me and I don’t think you are intending to be hurtful, so I need to tell you that when you say ____________to me, it is very hurtful and I would so appreciate it if you would try to stop.
  • I would really appreciate it if you would stop commenting on my ______________.
  • I would really appreciate it if you would stop _____________________.
  • I am not sure what to do at this point because I have asked you to stop ___________ and you continue to do it, so something needs to change here.
  • I need to ask for a change in the way we talk or are with each other and I am hoping you are willing to hear me out.
  • I am not sure how to respond to that. Give me a minute if you would.

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