1. "I'll take Ownership of this, and see that it gets done."
Everyone is busy. Managers and Co-workers both love it when someone else takes responsibility. Making it explicit with this phrase will win you friends, especially when you build a reputation for actually delivering what you own. Fail to deliver though, and people will stop letting you own, a very bad thing.
2. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Similar to taking ownership, people appreciate help when they are swamped. In this case though, your not saying you'll take charge, just that you'll help in a task or two.
3. "I'm sorry, I messed up and here's how I plan to fix it."
Nobody likes to mess up, but it happens. And when sh*t happens, it's always best to own up to it, with an action plan to fix it. Even if fix it means minimizing the damage, a plan is always better than not having one.
4. "Do I understand correctly that you are saying ...?"
Fill in the blank with exactly what you think they said. If you can demonstrate that you have completely heard them, even without agreeing, it goes a long way towards letting the other person open up about your feedback. Dr. Stephen Covey said "Seek first to understand, then to be understood.". This simple phrase can change your life. Suddenly, people will prefer to speak to you because "you listen". Even if you don't agree, you at least listen!
5. "Great job!"
We all have a little puppy deep inside our hearts. We don't want to be yelled at when we poo on the floor... we know we did wrong. But we DO love praise when we do something right! Say it often, but of course, only say it when you mean it. Don't praise poor work, no comments are needed.
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