Be kindly direct!

Posted on November 9th, 2009, by DrShaler

(C) Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

I just want to scream but, the office isn’t the place for that. Here’s the question I was just asked:

“And that file I need would be where?”

What am amazingly passive way to be! If you want me to get the file for you, ask me to get the file for you. If you want me to tell you where the file which he clearly didn’t because I told him and he didn’t move, ask me to get the file for you. This insipid, passive way of getting a need met is infuriating to me. How about to you?

It is possible to be kindly direct. That means the use of the words, please and thank you, are involved along with a direct request, clearly stated so there is no ambiguity as to how to meet the need. It’s such a simple thing. If I had heard:

“Could you please get that file for me now?”

No problem. The answer I could give was yes or no. Simple. You know what you want. You ask me to give it to you. I agree or disagree. There is no need to be passively indirect. Are you guilty?

NOTE: You are welcome to ask your question in the comments section of this blog. I’ll do my best to answer them. Tell us about a scenario at your office, or in your relationship.

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD
Consultant. Mediator. Counselor. Coach. Catalyst.
Success Solutions for Life, Work & Business

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  1. DrShaler Says:

    One thing I know for sure: everyone needs great skills to communicate and manage conflict…and, that’s what Wrestling Rhinos is all about!

    I wish you well.

    Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, is the author of Wrestling Rhinos: Conquering Conflict in the Wilds of Work and eight other books. If you have a specific question, you can also ask it at and receive your answer in a personal video email.