October 08, 2008

Saying the Right Thing in a Difficult Situation

Gretchen Rubin who blogs at The Happiness Project, offers eight tips for finding the right thing to say in a difficult situation.
  1. Try to identify the real problem;
  2. Don’t assume that you know what’s going to happen next;
  3. Find the right level of questions to ask;
  4. Don’t react with judgment;
  5. Resist the temptation to show empathy by drawing a comparison to your own painful experience;
  6. Acknowledge the reality of other people's feelings;
  7. Follow their lead; and
  8. Think about what a person needs to hear.
Ombuds generally know these tactics, but it's helpful to have this thoughtful and well-organized summary for visitors, especially those who will take the time to read materials after a consultation. (The Happiness Project.)

Related posts: Advice for Stopping a Nag; Tips For Raising Difficult Subjects.

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