The Two Words You Use that Makes Others Feel Invalidated


“In a world where good manners are good business, it's important to communicate in a way that prevents having others feel invalidated.” – Damilola Ogunremi

Do differences of opinion over a product or an idea raise a conversation naturally to an emotional level?
My answer to the above question is an unequivocal, “No!”

In my opinion, it is the type of words used that causes the sharing of ideas to intensify into a conflicted conversation e.g. “Yes, but.”

Today I’d like to share a powerful and successful technique with you!
Do any of these phrases ring any bells to you? Look at the following example conversation between an employee and a manager in a meeting.

Employee: “After my research, I recommend Product X. It meets our requirements for the project.”

Manager: “I like your suggestion, but I found the product too full of many twists and turns.” or “Yes, it’s a good product, but it will never be good for the project.”

How would you feel if you were this employee whose idea is being countered? Exhibiting business poise in the workplace by inspiring ideas shared by others, personal communication and negotiation create a professional work environment.

What should you say instead of “yes, but?”

Using the phrase ‘yes, and’ is a very good way to stop saying ‘yes, but’ and control conflict.

So, let’s assume you want to oppose an idea, suggestion or a recommendation and make your contribution. The first thing you should do is put aside any judgment. Think about the idea being shared by the other person and then, follow it with “Yes and how about...?” to give you a spontaneous opportunity to add your idea, consequently making the conversation rich, constructive and subduing difficult conversation.

This is a superb technique I’ve taught in my seminars. I also use it when communicating with people during training, and I apply the same principle when communicating one-on-one. Instead of disapproving an idea with “yes, but” and making others feel invalidated, I use “yes, and” then add my idea.  This is a fabulous way to find common ground when having a conversation with clients, colleagues and loved ones.

Have a go at this technique this new week and let me know how it goes.

I love seeing you improve your capabilities and showing up in the world in a way that attracts opportunities you need to make your dreams come true.

To more success in your personal and business life,

Your friend & Coach,
Damilola Ogunremi




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