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Three great ways to say that someone is wrong

It can be tough to tell someone that they are wrong - at least if you're looking to get a different result than just a quarrel. You don't want to offend anyone unnecessarily, but on the other hand, you may need to tell others that they are wrong to avoid other problems ahead. It seems like a hopeless situation. If you tell someone is wrong, you often end up in a fight. If you don't, something else bad will happen. Here you will get the help you need with some clever phrases that take the sting out of the possible conflict. It's about saying it without saying it.

1. -”I understand your view, but I think ...”is a good sentence to use because you show that you understand the idea and acknowledging the other person's thinking ability. It opens up for him/her to listen to what you have to say. Even if you don't even understand his/her thoughts, it's essential that he/she knows that you do it.

2.”Hmm ... What if we ...”Your” hmm ...”is the key here because it shows that you have given his/her idea thought. It may sound ridiculous, but a simple thing as a ”Hmm ...”can take you further that you can imagine. Now that you have determined that you seriously thought about his idea, you can supply your own. By also using the word ”we”, you will involve him/her as well in the solution of the problem and by using the word ”if” you offer it more as a suggestion than an order.

3.”As I see it ...”By explaining the background to your reasoning, you create space for presenting your idea a little further down the line, not just beat someone over the head with it straight away.

Extra tip:
A smart way to express criticism is to do it indirectly. Imagine that you heard that a person at customer service department is rude to some customers. Then you should say something like this:”I have heard much praise for the customer service department. The fact is that most of the comments I've heard are positive.”

Now you have planted the idea in everyone's head that you have heard negative comments, too. An intelligent person will be interested in what you have heard that is negative. This technique is good to use on tough bosses, too.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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