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Talk Less, Say More: Three Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen by Connie Dieken

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Chapter 4. Goldilocks Candor: Get Ready to Rumble

Does this sound familiar? You're in a meeting with Ms. Snippy and Mr. Ever Rude. As their turf battle heats up, the meeting swiftly descends into cheap shots, sarcastic barbs, and one-upsmanship. You feel as if you're watching a cable television shout fest. The attack artists try to drag you into the battle. Do you candidly respond that they're being world-class jerks? Do you dish up a little sugarcoating? Do you calmly but firmly respond that it's time for other voices to be heard?

What about this one: A work friend is talented, but he comes across as arrogant. He's gaining a reputation as a self-possessed, brash, inflexible guy. Do you tell him he's earning a reputation as a jerk? Do you do nothing? Do you privately explain that his behavior is career limiting and offer to help him recalibrate?

Finally, have you ever been in this position? It's late Friday afternoon in conference room 3-A, where your project team has gathered for the final meeting of the week. A peer presents an idea that you think is lame. You've been swamped, you're in a bad mood, and you want to get this meeting over with so you can finish your work. Do you channel your inner Simon Cowell, rip into her proposal so everyone will see the holes, and dismiss the idea? Do you bite your tongue, withholding your insights on the subject in order to get the meeting over with? Alternatively, do you offer to speak with her offline after the meeting to share your experiences? ...

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