03 Jul How to respond in the positive ?Seeking an answer to a question Requester says: “What’s the part number on this item?” Initial response: “I don’t know the part number on that item. I wasn’t working with that order.” Revised response: “Let me check the order book to familiarize myself with it. I can have an answer for you on this item by the end of the day.” The revised response removes the trigger words — don’t and wasn’t — from the initial response. It communicates an action to be taken as opposed to sounding helpless. Beating with a demanding request Requester says: “Here’s a change I need to make on my work order. I’d like to have it ready within two days.” Initial response: “My group can’t get that work done in two days especially when you come to us with these last-minute changes. This job is going to take at least three days.” Revised response: “Based on the work that is involved with this change, my group can have what you need in three days.” The initial response sounds like a complaint. Comments like “can’t get that work done” and “last-minute changes” are sure to irritate the requester. The revised response in a straightforward manner communicates a brief rationale and a commitment as to when the request can be met — a good way to manage expectations. Forgetting about something important Requester says: “I want to get your input on the issue we talked about briefly last week so I can go forward with my assignment.” Initial response: “I don’t recall what your issue is all about. Unfortunately, I’ve been really busy lately with more important matters.” Revised response: “Please refresh my memory and bring me up to speed about your issue so I can give you some input to help.” The initial response communicates a lack of interest, perhaps even a dismissive tone — “busy with more important matters lately.” It adds a couple of trigger words (“don’t” and “unfortunately”) that also hinder the message. The revised response lets the requester know that you need to be reminded about the issue and that you do want to engage with the person about it.
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