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Business English > Using Diplomatic Language

4 years ago
Diplomatic Language

Sometimes it is important to use diplomatic language in the workplace. Diplomatic language is careful, polite, and not too direct. It allows you to ask questions or make statements in a way that is non-abrasive and is especially useful when discussing topics that might be sensitive.
I have listed some useful phrases that you can use in the workplace so that you don’t get on the wrong side of your co-workers.

1 > Introducing tough questions indirectly
Sometimes you may need to question a junior member of your team about an issue that has occurred. You could say something like “Tell me what happened yesterday?” or “What went on at the factory last week?” but this mightrisk getting the conversation off to a bad start. Instead it is better to use diplomatic language such as …

I wonder if you could explain why you were late yesterday?
I’m afraid I’m not quite clear about the reasons for the delay in production?
Could you fill me in on the situation at your plant?
Can you put me in the picture about the recent issues with our suppliers?

2> Minimizing Language
Minimizing language is very useful for when you need to deliver negative news or if you wish to disagree with a co-worker’s opinion or idea.

It seems we have a slight problem.
There might be a small delay.
That might be quite expensive.
Won’t that be a bit expensive?
Perhaps we could meet again next week?

3 > Disagree Politely ( Yes...But)
Yes, I see your point, but I’m not quite sure we can afford to do that.
I think it’s a good idea, but it might be a bit difficult to implement.
I understand what you’re saying, but…”
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