Whether you’re dealing with internal or external customers, use these tips to keep conversations moving in a positive direction:
Use “we” instead of “you.” We-centered language fosters a sense ofand unity.
Find something to praise. Thank them for responding quickly or taking time out to meet a request. You can almost always find something to compliment, and doing so will open them up to hearing what you have to say.
Avoid using “I can’t.” Always tell people what you can do, rather than what you can’t. Example: “I can meet at these times …” rather than “I can’t meet from 1:00–4:00 p.m.” You accomplish the same thing with less negative connotations.
— Adapted from “Tips to Developing Positive Language With Clients,” John Rampton, The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com.