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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Communicating—The Ten Deadly Sins

The most practical advice for leaders is not to treat pawns like pawns, nor princes like princes, but all persons like persons.
JAMES MACGREGOR BURNS

Here is a list of things to avoid when dealing with others:

  1. Being patronizing. This is praising people when it is clearly unwarranted, or using a tone of voice that suggests that the individual is a lot better than he or she in fact is.

  2. Using generalities. Examples include: "You have a bad attitude," or "Your work is seldom satisfactory."

  3. Using labels to describe a person. Examples include phrases such as "You're paranoid," or "Your behaviour is neurotic." Playing psychologist belittles others and does nothing to solve the problem.

  4. Being sarcastic. This is an indirect way of dealing with a problem. It's better to be more direct.

  5. Telling people to do something instead of asking them to. People don't respond to being treated like children.

  6. Railroading. Using a position of power, fast pace, or poor logic to bully people into accepting something.

  7. Threatening. Giving a person an ultimatum. Explaining why you want something done will always work better, especially if you want to maintain a long-term relationship. Threatening is sometimes appropriate with someone you are never likely to deal with again, but even then should be used only as a last resort.

  8. Giving advice before being asked. If you have an idea for someone, ask them if they would be interested.

  9. Being vague. Be specific. Give examples. Tell your listener what happened, when and where it happened, and how often.

  10. Exaggerating. Using words such as "always" or "never" might confirm that there is a problem, but it makes the problem seem far worse than it actually is. As a result, you will annoy people and cause them to reject your idea or request.


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