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What to say when …

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You’re trying to persuade a reluctant staffer to accept an assignment

“I know that you’d prefer to be spending your time on other projects. But at this point, I think you’re the best one for this job. If I gave the work to someone else, we’d both lose. I’d be stuck relying on substandard work, and you’d lose a chance to show that you’re a team player. I need you to come through and generate the results that I know you’re capable of producing. I can’t promise you that there won’t be other assignments down the line that are equally unappealing, but I can assure you that your willingness to contribute to the team’s success will not go unnoticed.”

You’re running a meeting that’s getting out of hand

“Time out. Let’s remember our objective today, to [restate goal]. No one expects this to be easy. But if we continue to work around our desired outcome and dwell on the distractions instead, we’ll waste time and lose our focus. Let’s get back on track and move ahead toward our goal.”

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