Remain Calm

Watch Your Mouth

When you're under verbal attack, don't blurt out the first words that come to mind--unless, of course, you've rehearsed exactly what you want to say. Leonard Fedler, a Los Angeles management consultant and author of Does Someone at Work Treat You Badly?, suggests three great comeback lines.

  • "Please stop! I don't appreciate being spoken to like this."
  • "Time out! I want to hear what you're saying, but I must ask you to slow down a little bit."
  • "Let's talk about this. You go first, and I won't interrupt. Then when you're done, I'll see if I have any questions."

These statements are nonthreatening and let the individual know you want to resolve the conflict at hand.

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This article was originally published in the May 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Remain Calm.

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