Elaborate Your Concerns and Clarify Your Intentions

In yesterday’s post (Phrasing Your Statements Positively, Politely, and Poignantly), I discussed how to phrase statements positively, politely, while being poignant. I want to go a little deeper in discussing the intentions of director #2. Let’s layout the scenario again:

A business meeting is being held between two senior developers and they’re throwing back ideas back and forth. Director #1 wants to make a change in product X’s orientation so that it can offer more practicality and aesthetics. Director #2 disregards the idea because to him, it is too costly.

But what does he mean when it is too costly? Different phrases carry different meaning and implications. This is where elaboration is critical.

  • Does director #2 mean the cost to value offered is unnecessary?
  • Does director #2 mean the product will be too expensive as a result?
  • Does director #2 mean the market will not tolerate the new product?
  • Does director #2 mean the company is unable to afford it financially?
  • Does director #2 mean the budget is insufficient for to enact these changes?
  • Does director #2 mean the product doesn’t need this change?

All of these are viable and realistic concerns that director #2 could be carrying, but he does not do a sufficient job expressing his concerns. When you’re carrying a conversation, the more information you provide to your team members, the better you will express your intent. In return, they can understand your feedback and why you perceive it in this manner.

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