Laurie Puhn knows just what to say. The Harvard lawyer, couples mediator and best-selling author of Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, recently crafted a survey to gauge your communication IQ.
Do you know how to win people over by saying the right thing? Find out.
1. Your friend Mike has been looking for a new job as an executive assistant for the past two months. He tells you that when his last interviewer asked him why he is leaving his current job, he explained that the work isn’t interesting. You think the answer makes him look bad to an interviewer. Do you:
a. Say, “Mike, you shouldn’t say that in an interview. It leaves room for misinterpretation and makes you look bad.”
b. Ask, “Mike, would you like my opinion about how you might want to answer that question?”
c. Keep quiet, say nothing and let it go. You’ll just upset him.
2. Your colleague Joe tells you that Susan, another admin, put together a fantastic presentation that morning. Later that day, you see Susan in the office cafeteria. You:
a. Don’t say anything to her.
b. Say, “Hi, Susan, how are you doing?” You don’t want to be a gossip, so you avoid mentioning the presentation.
c. Say, “Hi, Susan, Joe told me that you put together a fantastic presentation this morning!”
3. You have plans with your friend Tom for dinner on Wednesday night. The day before, you are talking to another friend, Steve, who met Tom once. Steve asks you if you want to get together for dinner Wednesday night. You:
a. Say, “I have dinner plans with my friend Tom for Wednesday night. Why don’t you join us?”
b. Make an excuse and say, “I have to work late tomorrow, so I can’t meet you for dinner.” You don’t want him to feel excluded.
c. Say, “I have plans tomorrow night. Let’s get together another night.”
(1) B. Hold your tongue. Puhn says, “Give advice only when you are asked for it; or you get permission to give it after asking ‘Would you like my opinion?’”
(2) C. Spread positive gossip. “When someone tells you something good about a person you know,” Puhn says, “you should spread positive gossip by passing on the compliment to that person.”
(3) C. Invite with caution. Before inviting anyone else, you’ll need to seek approval from Tom. If you ask Tom and he says it’s OK to invite Steve, then you can call Steve back and invite him to join you.
You can find more information at www.fightlesslovemore.com.