Community Challenge – Rephrase your Response

Last week’s challenge was to find ways to better communicate answers to questions, particularly answers that are of the negative persuasion. (I already told you why I won’t give you a free max level account…)

I’ve taken a look at many of my EditPad files of standard copy paste responses and modified them to be more succinct, clear and final. I’ve also added a new one that I think will save a great deal of grief. I’ve seen this paragraph before somewhere else (this isn’t my writing) and think it perfectly conveys that the communication issue isn’t always in the response.

I’m open to hearing what you have to say and having a discussion about it, but I have a policy of not responding to people who take a malicious approach to conversation. If you’d like to try again with a kinder approach, I would be happy to have a conversation with you.

I’ve used this message recently in communications that have been purposely and pointedly malicious even to the point of violence, and with surprising success. Often the initial communication is a flurry of angered words fuelled by the emotion at the time. Once the dust has settled and my ‘want to try that again?’ response has been digested, the return replies have so far been apologetic, understanding, reasonable and well formulated. Once people realize that talking smack isn’t going to get them anywhere, but a rational conversation will often provide results, the subsequent interactions are much more calm and productive.

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Posted 17 February 2012 by KSamwell in category "Community