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What’s worse? Missing an opportunity to say something smart or saying something dumb?

Both suck. And neither needs to happen.

In my Advanced Communication Skills workshops, all levels and every department talks about not knowing what to say when…
someone steals their idea in a meeting
•a customer/client/guest asks for something they can’t give them
•a guest may be trying to scam
•they want to say no but don’t want to look bad
•they want more attention for an idea when the group dismisses it and moves on
•they are sorry but not sorry
•and more.

Any of these situations sound familiar? Of course they do.

Here is the thing. If you’ve been stuck in these situations before, you’ll be stuck again.

High achievers – whether in sales or ops or whatever – know the key is taking time to become comfortable with modern communication skills to move the conversation forward.

My shortlist:
1.  Show authentic empathy.
2.  Use words that help the other person (and don’t just make the person saying them feel better).
3.  Provide assurance of care and some sort of resolution.

Don’t let any opportunity get away from you. Replace your old default behavior (silence, defensiveness, umm, umm, umm, apology) with thoughtfulness, authentic empathy and next steps.


Power word.

Oh! I’m very sorry this happened, too, and here is an option to help…

Yes, it must be difficult hearing this now and here is how we can help…

You’re right, I wish I had different news for you and we have a number of ways to make this right for you.

Wow! This should not have happened and I’d like to make this right/better for you…

Try it and let me know how it goes.

Before you go…

Are you looking for fresh, modern ideas to boost success at your next sales meeting or conference? SpeakerSue will energize your meeting, keep everyone engaged and provide the “kick” your team needs to create a cultural change in the way they communicate.

To use email more strategically and successfully, send an email to or call (+1-480-575-9711) to check availability. You can count on fresh, practical content to convert more leads and drive revenue and profitability.

PS. Please forward this blog to others who can also benefit! Thank you!


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