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What to say when …

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Your boss plays ‘amnesia’ and claims ignorance of a past instruction

“What we’re discussing now and what we discussed on July 19 [use exact date], during our planning meeting in your office, are not the same. According to my notes, we decided to test the original plan over the next six months. If I understand you correctly now, you’re suggesting that we try a new approach without any test period. These seem like two different strategies, and I’m unsure how to proceed. Do we need to clarify this further?”

You share an elevator ride with your company’s CEO

“Hi, I’m ________. I’ve always hoped I’d meet you. All of us in my unit have taken steps to address your concern about putting the customer first. Would you like to hear what we’ve done? [Get confirmation, then continue.] Among the three specific programs we’ve put in place, here’s one that’s already bearing fruit [explain it concisely]. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you, if you’d like.”

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