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Take the sting out of sarcasm

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

When a teammate delivers a biting, sarcastic comment, don’t respond defensively. Do this instead:

  • Be noncommittal. Say “That’s an idea” or “Interesting thought.”
  • Respond with “really.” You can use it to show that you choose to gloss over the statement. Or turn it into a question—”Really?”—to show that you are baffled by the person’s remarks.
  • Ask a question. Say “Why would you say that?” or “What makes you think that?” to get to the root of the conflict—or at the very least call the person on his or her conduct.
  • Show your disapproval. For recurring sarcasm, explain that you are displeased with the person’s comments and tone and that you won’t listen to it. Demand the person’s respect.

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