A reporter recently asked me for some "lines" women should have at the ready. It made me think about the many phrases I often suggest that women add to their arsenals so that they are prepared for whatever comes their way. Try practicing these until they become second nature to you:
1. "Be that as it may, I still would like..."
Use this to hold your ground with someone who is giving you an excuse for why you can't have what you want. A variation would be, "I hear what you're saying, and I still would like..."
2. "I would be happy to do that for you. Let me tell you __________ [how much it will cost, how much time it will take, how much help I will need, etc.]."
Good customer/client service requires you to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done - but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for what you need to meet the needs of others. Often when you tell them the "cost" of their request, it soon becomes modified.
3. "Thank you. I'm glad you noticed and appreciate the feedback."
If you have a difficult time accepting a compliment, this is the one for you.
4. "Although I can't participate at this time, I appreciate your letting me know about it."
This is a nice way to say buzz off, I'm not buying whatever you're selling.
5. "I'm sure you didn't realize you just cut ahead of me in line."
You can say this one as you step in front of the offender - best said with a smile.
6. "Although I can't do ________, I can do ____________."
Contrasting is a powerful tool to set clear boundaries yet offer alternatives that are more acceptable to you.
You can find these and other tips for communicating with impact in my new book, "Nice Girls Just Don't Get It," co-authored with Carol Frohlinger.
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