Feb 282013

In another edition of How to… we looked at the language a manager might use to balance positive and negative comments about a piece of work. This week we move onto the topic of making recommendations for changes. How can we ‘soften’ our advice in order to seem less bossy?

Making recommendations
You [might] want some stronger images.
[might] want to change the layout.
need to
[If I were you] I would
What I would do is
What you want is to
You could try changing the layout.
Softening what you say
Be vague:
You could look at the layout.
changing the layout.
think about
Use hedging words like perhaps, maybe and might:

You could perhaps think about changing the format.
You might like to think about changing the format.

Use just to explain your recommendations:

It’s just that I think it needs a stronger image.
It’s just to give the page a bit more structure.

informal, negative adjective describing someone who likes telling people what to do

to soften
here, to make what you say easier to hear – less bossy and more friendly



BBC How to… make recommendations Transcript Video


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