Powerful Retorts

Minority in your chosen profession or not, we all sometimes find ourselves in sticky situations at work. Here are some powerful retorts for your professional armamentarium from 7 Tricky Work Situations by Alicia Bassuk published in the Harvard Business Review:

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Design by Sasha Retana, MD. Photo courtesy of Abacus Group.

See full article for descriptions of situations.

Situation #1: Someone takes credit for your idea.

What you should say:

“Thanks for spotlighting my point.”

 

Situation #2: You’re asked to stay late when you’re about to leave the office for a personal obligation.

What you should say:

“Excuse me, I have another commitment.”

 

Situation #3: In a pivotal situation, a trusted colleague snaps at you.

What you should say:

“This isn’t about what you do for me. It is about what you did to me.”

 

Situation #4: You have to say “no.”

What you should say:

“This is a good launching point.”

 

Situation #5: You have to give negative or awkward feedback to someone you’re close with.

What you should say:

“I’m here to be for you what someone once was for me.”

 

Situation #6: You need to push back on a decision you believe is wrong.

What you should say:

“This is my preference.”

 

Situation #7: You need to escalate a serious issue.

What you should say:

“Your response gives me cause to take this further.”

 

 

 

 

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