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How to Offer Information Without Causing Anger and to Make a Hearty Stew

How to Offer Information Without Causing Anger and to Make a Hearty Stew

People sometimes hesitate to offer information or ideas to others.   They may think, “It is not my business” or “They didn’t ask, so maybe I shouldn’t offer information.” Or fear of the demon “Anger.” Have you noticed some people have heightened awareness of negative body language? With those people (who could be you or someone you know), the demon “Anger” or “Perturbed” or even milder emotion becomes a stop sign with oh so many people.

However, if you offer information with no expectations of reciprocation, you likely find most people receptive and appreciative.

Or you could open with “Do you feel like hearing what I have to say about that?”

And you could add the coda to your statement, “But what do I know about that…” Or the preface, “I’m probably wrong, but ….”

If nothing else, you have now made the communication a dialogue and interesting like a hearty winter stew rather than chicken broth.

Find What People Want and Need

Find What People Want and Need

Come to full attention when you hear the following phrases:

“ I want …”

“I need…”

“My goal is to …”

“I’m having a problem with…”

“I’m looking for …”

“I’m involved in a project that …”

How to Talk to a Sad Person

In the New York Times several days ago was an article about how to talk to a sad person. During holidays we expect people to be happy and the New York Times recognizes that is not always the case.

What do you do when notice a person who looks sad?

Here are some tips.

1. Tell the person what you notice and ask if they’re sad.    It’s often a relief to a person that you notice.

2. Mildly ask them why. If they do acknowledge to feeling down, ask them why without being brash. It make take 30 seconds, 1 minute or longer for them to begin talking. Wait patiently without saying anything.

3. Sum up or reflect back what they said so they know you heard them and you understood.  This will show empathy.  Empathy means you understand what it must feel like to be in their situation.

Get and Stay in Touch

Staying in Touch

Previous Monday speech tips focused on different kinds of calls you will be making to friends or colleagues.  Examples of openers for different kinds of calls gives you confidence with telephone communication.  Be alert to the tone of voice– you can hear emotion not only in the pitch of the voice but also in the pauses. Do follow-up questions which show that you care. Use emotion in your voice — empathy and caring, gladness, surprise, congratulations. Because the shape of the lips and other mouth muscles change with emotion, people can actually hear your emotion even if they cannot see your face or body.

In the United States, 50% of all adults are single. 30% of all adults live alone. Reach out. Get and stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family.  That gives you and them support over a lifetime – people who care about your ups and downs.

English Speaking Training- Opening a Conversation— Top Tip!


English Speaking Training– How to Start a Conversation– The Top Tip!

Approximately 2010, I read a newspaper article that changed overnight my typical greeting to everyone.

The article’s topic was how to talk to a person who has recently suffered the death of a loved one—- spouse, partner, parent, child, relative, friend or for many, pet.

The article pointed out that the typical greeting is “How are you?” For a person suffering the loss of a loved one, the truthful answer would be “bad” for a considerable amount of time. The author reminded the readers that in North America, the expected answer is “Fine.” But that answer for people in grief is “a lie” and not at all accurate.

So the article suggested “How are things going?”. Then respondenta can answer the typical “Fine,” or “OK,” because for the “things” in their life — daily activities– those are “OK.” Emotions not fine but activites are OK. Noteably, the respondent has not been forced to lie or be untruthful.

Body language and tone of voice will reveal a great deal about the current well-being of people. Be alert to those.

For communication interactions where the other person is not grieving for a loved one, the question of “How are things going?” makes it easier for the respondent to immediately describe a recent significant happening in their life. For example, “I just got word from the programmer who developed the coding for my research for my PhD that there is an error in the code.” Or, “I had to let go the nanny for my child.” Those are real life examples.

The specific words of a question go a long way in determining the depth and quality of the answer.

Why would you want to know the current state of well-being of the other person? So you can determine how to proceed with the upcoming communication or task. If the other person had a car accident the previous day, then your proceeding forward with discussion of complex tasks could be modified to take account of less than optimal well-being.. Also, you could do follow-up questions to determine the current physical and emotional status of the other person. Follow-up questions show that you care. For relationahip and rapport, caring is the foundation.

For improving your pronunciation and diction for clear American English, practice with our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos.

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