Tip 23: Own Your Feedback

June 10, 2009 -- Sal Silvester

One of the most frustrating experiences I have had when interacting with others is when I receive feedback from someone who decides to use "softeners" instead of being direct in his or her communication. These "softeners" come in the form of:

  • saying "we" when you really mean "I"
  • using words such as "kinda", "sortof", and "right"
  • being indirect in asking for something by saying "would you mind..."

These "softeners" often result in ambiguity and confusion about a person's intent. Effective communicators and influencers, on the other hand:

  • take ownership for their feedback by saying "I" believe," "I" think," and "I" feel
  • eliminate "kinda," "sortof," "right," and other softeners from their vocabulary
  • influence others to take action by saying "please do this" or by asking "will you please do this"
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