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  • How to Push Back Effectively

    Push Back

    The best way to choose your words when you need to push back is to clearly know what you need to say and then say it to the other person the way you would like it said to you. It’s a big differentiator for you to pause, consider if you were in that person’s Cole Haans how you would like to be talked to, and then weigh your words and harness your tone of voice, facial expression, and comportment.

    Use an even tone of voice, square your shoulders, look ’em in the eye, and give a comfortable smile.

    Negative response need not be given in a negative way: “You were right on target when you said . . . and to follow your lead, I did some research on my own that you’ll want to see as we define and refine our position,” will be better received than, “You’re wrong. I don’t know how you came up with that, but I found out the truth, and it’s totally different from what you said. The only way it can go is . . . . It’s stupid any other way.”

    Instead of just being good at following your managers ideas and directions, have your own that you contribute. Give valid reasons for your recommendations. Have knowledge and information that out-details and out-facts them. Clearly put your evaluation, opinion, and options out there with candor, directness, objectivity, and respect.


    Debra Benton and Kylie Wright-Ford, co-authors of The Leadership Mind Switch (McGraw-Hill, 2017)

    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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