My holiday gift to you …

Words for your most challenging office interactions

Say This, Not That

No matter your role in your company — management, sales, customer service — you likely find yourself in some difficult-to-manage situations from time to time. This year, as my holiday gift to you, I’m telling you the exact words to say to navigate these situations with ease and confidence.

I’ll tackle a new situation each week. I’ll cover what the average professional would say, and then the Message Maven rewrite.


Bonus: Win a free TruPerception workshop or mini coaching session

Because I love to give, I’ll be awarding several free workshops and mini coaching sessions this holiday season. Win one by submitting a challenging situation using the form below. In this 45-minute workshop or session, I’ll explain why the words you choose matter. Then I’ll share tips and techniques which will help you make your words work for you, not against you. It’s the perfect way to start your new year off right.

Enter here: 

    Submissions are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 28th. Winners will be notified by Friday, December 29th. Workshops limited to 15 participants.

An Example of Say This, Not That:

Challenging situation:

I’ve been following up for weeks and not getting a response.

The average professional would write this:


I hope all is well. We have not heard back from you after numerous attempts to connect. It’s ok if you chose another direction or maybe something came up with the project that was out of your control.

Just reply quick with a status. That way if it’s a no, then we will stop checking in with you. If it’s a go, then great, but advise what is a realistic next step.

Thank you.

The Message Maven rewrite:


Because I want to give your project the attention it deserves, please let me know if you’re ready to get started.

All we need is a realistic next step, and you’ll be on your way to better communicating your value and increasing revenue.

If you’ve decided to go in another direction or need more time, please let me know so I can free up the resources I’m reserving for you.


Why this and not that? In the original message, Nathan comes across as insecure and frustrated. Two qualities that can hinder a positive response.

The Fine Print

Submissions are due by 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 28th. Winners will be notified by Friday, December 29th. Includes workshop or mini session only. It’s your choice: You can provide food for participants or ask them to brown bag it. Hint: It may easier to entice those communication troublemakers to attend if you order in pizza. Workshops limited to 15 participants.

Do you know a colleague who would benefit from this offer? Or just want to increase your office’s chance of winning? Use the buttons below to share this post.