Magic Phrases

When you get nonverbal signals such as comfort cues around a particular topic there are magic phrases that you can use to get the person to tell you the truth about what's going on. 

What can I do to make you feel comfortable talking about this? 

I know you'll feel so much better if we can talk about what's going on.

I know you'll feel so much better and the tension you're feeling will ease as soon as you share what's going on. 

When giving coaching or criticism or asking for a change in behavior you want the person you're giving the coaching to to feel comfortable listening to you fully and assure them that the working relationship is important. 
Especially for supporters and influencers on the disc personality assessment who are people that are focused and they need to know you will still like them after you criticize them.  You need to make them know you value them as team members

I value our working relationship 

I want you to know as I share a way to take your game to a new level this is about your game not about you. 

Let's talk about a way you can play even better for the team.

I value you as a team member.

After you've given somebody an assignment you can ask some of these questions.

What's the best way to make this happen quickly? 

Is this the best way to make this happen easily?

What would be a barrier to making this happen?

What would keep this from being able to happen quickly and easily?

What are your concerns going forward with this?

What are your top three concerns going forward with it?

What are two thoughts you have about this project? 

I don't know if I've been clear with this assignment or not can you pretend like you're sending me an email to do it and tell me what you'd say in the email? 

What are the questions that you have about what I expect from you on this?

What would make this easy to do or what would make this easier to do? 

What would be the challenges to making this? 

What would be the first thing that you would need to do to make this happen?

What would be the first to make this happen?

When you get back to your desk what will you need to make this happen?

What can I do to make you feel comfortable talking about this?

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at