Formerly Cascade Alternative Resolution Services
“Resolve to Resolve”
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Specializing in alternative dispute resolution
Library  >  Reference Sheet: Using Neutral Language
Reference Sheet:
Using Neutral Language

Use Non-Judgemental rather than Judgemental Language

Thank you. There you go again.
Ok. The point I hear you making... Is that really relevant?
Say more about that. Good idea!
Will you elaborate? What is your point?
Is this doable? I don't think that will work.

Use Non-Controlling rather than Controlling Language

I'm listening, tell me about it. I don't want to hear about it.
Let's talk about that and could you also write me a memo? Let's not talk about that. Write me a memo.
I have a hard time hearing what you're saying when you raise your voice. If you're going to raise your voice, I won't listen to you.

Use Non-Defensive rather than Defensive Langauge

Tell me more about that. I wasn't the one who...
This is hard for me and I really want to hear what you have to say. But you don't understand!
You're saying that you experience me as... I'm not that way!
This seems really important to you. Why are you making this such a big deal?

Avoid the “Six Deadly Words”

By putting the listener on the defensive, in resolving a conflict, these words can stop dialogue and problem-solving:
  • you
  • but
  • always
  • never
  • should
  • must

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