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We Have Got To Talk

Mastering the art of confrontation is an essential skill at work. No matter how tactful you try to be, the time comes when you have to stand up for yourself. See it as a positive solution rather than as a failure or, even worst, an escalation of the crisis. Then you'll get what you want, professionally and non-aggressively.

If you're having difficulty with a colleague, you need to handle it so that you can still work happily together afterwards. If the problem is with your boss, the prospect of a confrontation can be quite daunting as you are challenging the basis of the power structure which says that she calls the shots.

With this in mind, rehearse what you want to say in advance. Write down your key points and phrases, and think about how you will lead in, smooth the way through and then complete the conversation.

Never Put Yourself Down

Don't say "I know I'm silly, yet I've got an awful problem." But "There's something I'd like to raise with you. It seems we have a problem&" Don't go in looking for a fight and always give the benefit of the doubt. Don't assume that there's a plot against you. Try "Perhaps we can work this out," rather than "I can't stand this any longer!"

Practise In Front Of A Mirror

That way, you'll know if you're wearing a truculent scowl, a hang-dog air or a nervous, apologetic grin, all of which will work against you before you even open your mouth. And once you have begun, get to the point. Beating about the bush only tries your listener's patience.

Pick The Right Moment

You need your opponent's undivided attention, so don't try to grab her as she's rushing out to lunch or skipping off early on a Friday for a long weekend away. And never start until you can see your way out. You need to be able to finish the episode cleanly and decisively, so choose a time when a natural break (the approach of a regular meeting, for instance) will help you to bring the discussion to a painless conclusion.

Control The Tone

If you become angry, you risk making others angry too.

7 Golden Rules To Writing Polite Email

Digital interactions cannot take the place of human contact. That said, there are ways to keep the electronic chat lines polite. Here are the golden rules.

Sensitive Situations Require Human Touch

Forget about using the e-mail for things like project management updates, performance appraisal and settling disputes. These should be done face to face.

Put Guidelines In Place

Clear company policies on e-mail etiquette can prevent abuse and nasty situations.

Drum It In

Do not assume that employees know about the guidelines. Constant reminders about good practices are needed.

Keep Tabs

Conduct internal surveys to gather feedback among the employees about incidents of such e-mail misuse or abuse.

Right The Wrong

Employees who feel they have been mistreated should go up to the supervisor to clarify things said in the e-mail - politely, of course.

Pause Before You Hit Send

Read the e-mail you have just written and tone it down, if necessary. This could filter inappropriate comments and reduce potential misunderstanding.

Don't Do The Same

Do not repeat your supervisor's mistakes, of course.


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