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Phrases to Inspire a Collaborative Conversation
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Phrases to Inspire a Collaborative Conversation

By Carleigh Lowe Monday, September 21, 2009

Running a business, large or small, requires keen communication and decision-making skills. Sometimes we know just what to say, how to say it and what to do. In other cases, it is in your best interest to gather information and ideas from others. Below, we suggest our top ten diplomatic phrases to inspire a collaborative conversation. These tips could set you up for success!

I have observed...

When you acknowledge that your observation is a subjective truth, rather than an absolute one, you allow people to share their thoughts without having to overturn your version or perspective. 

I have interpreted X to mean…

With this phrase, you send a message that the same information can engender remarkably different interpretations and conclusions.

Would you consider…

When you use the verb "to consider" in earnest, you are speaking diplomatically.

Yes, and…

By trading in the ubiquitous "yes, but," you allow an idea to evolve, instead of dissolve, and in doing so, you change the way the team functions.

I have a different perspective…

With this phrase, you fully express your opinion while affirming the premise on which collaboration is based—the necessity of multiple perspectives.

What if we…

The important "if" lowers the stakes of a given solution, thus creating a space for imaginative activity.

I believe it would benefit us to…

This steers the group’s focus toward what can benefit the whole, and away from what is usually more palpable, fear of change.


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