Effective Communication Skill Blog

drivingSome of the most competent and confident people I know joke about how their GPS system scolds them when they miss a directive. I don't hear a scolding, I hear a "recalculating" followed by a revised instruction. But it happens often enough to demonstrate that even feedback that is clearly not personal - like a computer voice telling you that you missed your turn - can bring up shame and defensiveness.

I smell a business opportunity. Someone needs to create a GPS system for people with low self-esteem. It will affirm the driver, counter negative self-talk, and shine a light on the positive.

Here are a few starter phrases. Remember, this is the GPS talking. 

  • Wow. I never thought about getting there this way. Would you prefer I reroute you, or get you back on the previous route?
  • I'm sorry. Perhaps I wasn't clear. You were supposed to turn back there.
  • It's just a missed turn. It's not failure, it's feedback.
  • Everybody makes mistakes. Even me. 
  • Think of all the things you learned from taking this wrong turn.
  • You are one wrong turn closer to a right one.
  • You may have made a bad turn, but that doesn't make you a bad person!
  • Everything teaches you something. What are you learning from your wrong turn?
  • It wasn't the way I recommend, but you're the driver.
  • How creative!

Contribute and win

Now it's your turn. What will your sensitive GPS tell you?  Post a suggested phrase in my comments below. I'll collect them and put it to a vote. The provider of the selected phrase will get a $100 coupon for any SpeakStrong products.

Plus the fun of playing with phrases.

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