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.