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What to Say When …

November 11, 1999
Some common situations that may leave you tongue-tied:

Your best employee tells you she's thinking of quitting:

"Thank you for coming to discuss this. Your career is important to me, and I'd like to help you succeed. What do you think would make you fully satisfied with your work?"

Your boss complains to you about a problem that you're in no position to solve:

"I wish I had some say in the matter, because then I could try to fix it. Who do you think would be the best person to handle this?"

Your boss boss demands that you "get rid of the deadwood" on your staff:

"You're right, I've got some poor performers. For a few, I'm laying the groundwork for proper termination. I m sure you don't want any lawsuits. That s why I'm moving more slowly than we'd like. But I'm just as determined as you are to get the right people in here."

Your colleague confesses that he falsified his expense reports:

"You should really be telling this to your boss, not me. The sooner you come clean, the sooner you'll regain your credibility and learn from the experience. But if you wait much longer, you could be fired."

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Working Smart. Copyright © 1999 The National Institute of Business Management, McLean, VA. (800) 543-2049.