Guilt-Free Ways to Say No

Finding it difficult to turn people down? Here’s how to say no when you need to.

The direct no

You may sometimes feel you need to explain why you’re saying no. The problem is, explanations are often heard as excuses. For some people, your excuse is an opportunity to persuade you to say ‘yes’.

A direct approach is often needed. And some ways of saying ‘no’ work better than others. Saying ‘I can’t/won’t’ gets straight to the point but the most likely instant response will be ‘why not?’ Before you know it, you’re in explanation territory again.

Read more

The FAST way to sort out conflict

Negotiation can be challenging, particularly in a conflict situation. Using FAST principles will help you keep the conversation in ‘okay’ mode.

Focus on one issue at a time

Difficult negotiations can be derailed by side issues. So you need to focus and keep the conversation focussed on one thing at a time. Sometimes, during conflict, the other person deliberately tries to take the conversation off-track. But you can prevent diversions by identifying the key issue which needs to be resolved.

Read more

Keep control of difficult conversations

Dreading the drama of a crunch point conversation? These four steps will help you through conversations with difficult people

Yes. Other people behave badly sometimes. But there are constructive ways you can broach tricky subjects, minimise conflict and move beyond impasses. Here are five ways to get started.

Read more

Amplify Your Influence: Steps for Success

Are you struggling to get others to listen to you? These strategies will help you get through to them

Widen your perspective

To influence others, you need to make what you say matter to them. Look at your proposal from their perspective as well as from your own. What benefits are important to them? How will what you want also help them? Be as specific as possible and keep in mind that different people have different needs and aspirations. Tailor what you say to the particular person you say it to.

Read more

How to build rapport at work

Not sure how to connect with a client or colleague? Learning to build rapport will help.

Rapport is like glue which holds human relationships together. Being in rapport involves making a positive connection. It creates a sense you’re the same page as someone else. Rapport gets things done. And a lack of rapport can be a barrier to effective communication.

Read more

How to handle negative people

Bad attitudes can be infectious. So how do you stay immune?

Have you noticed how quickly bad attitudes can spread through a team? They seem far more contagious than good attitudes. And there’s a reason for this. Our brains are ‘wired’ to pick up emotions – in particular, emotions which signal something is wrong. Negativity is one of those emotions. But there are steps you can take to prevent yourself catching a team mate’s bad attitude.

Read more

Speak clearly with ‘clean language’

Do you want to get your point across more effectively? Clean language techniques can help you do it.

Good intentions aren’t everything

Imagine you are trying to help someone with a problem. You are doing your best to listen, but the other person keeps saying ‘No, I don’t mean that. What I mean is…’ The conversation is going nowhere fast.

So what is going wrong here? You are genuinely trying to help, so why does the other person feel so frustrated and misunderstood?

Read more

How to speak to a large group for the first time

Abby’s nervous. She’s been asked to speak at her industry conference. She’s never spoken to a large group before.

Although her presentation is well prepared, Abby is feeling unsure about how well received it will be. She is suffering from pre-speech nerves. Here’s how we’d help Abby deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to prepare for your presentations.

Read more