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Exercise 3: To Receive an Answer to Your Question

We are going to practice this in the context of a common situation in which you need to repeat your question in order to assert your right to a proper answer. The situation is returning a faulty clock to the shop where you bought it, and dealing with the shop assistant who may be helpful or may try to avoid his responsibilities in this matter.

Student: I am returning this faulty clock. Can I please have my money back?
Coach: Come back another day, please Madam.
Student: That is not necessary as I am here now. Please return my payment as the clock is faulty.
Coach: I'll check the product then Madam.
Student: Thank you

The emphasis is on getting the point across, not being fobbed off but obtaining a valid response to your question, whilst maintaining politeness and a positive tone. Practice with other situations in which you need to get your point across or obtain an appropriate answer to your question. The Coach makes sure the elements of attention, intention, duplication and acknowledgement are in place, to form a complete cycle of communication.

Each One of Us Has the Right to...

  • Say no to a request.
  • Not give other people reasons for every action we take.
  • Stop others from making excessive demands on us.
  • Ask other people to listen to our point of view when we speak to them.
  • Ask other people to correct errors they made which effect us.
  • Change our minds.
  • Ask other people to compromise rather than get only what they want.
  • Ask other people to do things for us.
  • Persist in making a request if people won't respond the first time.
  • Be alone if we wish.
  • Maintain our dignity in relationships.
  • Evaluate our own behaviors and not just listen to evaluations that others offer.
  • Make mistakes and accept responsibility for them.
  • Avoid manipulation by other people.
  • Pick our own friends without consulting our parents, peers, or anyone else.
  • Let other people know how we are feeling.

When Criticizing Others...

  • Make your comments specific.
  • Attempt to provide the person with some valuable information.
  • Help them to understand exactly what needs to change.
  • Be sure the criticized behavior can be changed.
  • If the person can do nothing about the problem, you will probably just make things worse by being critical of it.
  • Use assertive communication (that means be confident and assured dof your rights, but not forceful or antagonistic).
  • Speak calmly and try not to let your emotions dictate the conversation.
  • Try not to shame, humiliate, or blame the person.
  • Give the person a reason to change.
  • Inform them of any benefits which might come out of acting on your suggestions.
  • Time your criticisms well.
  • Avoid criticizing someone in public.
  • Wait until the person is in a reasonably good mood.
  • View constructive criticism as feedback not punishment.
  • Positive change should be your goal

Return to Contents

Continue to the next page, Exercise 4

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