Summary and checklist of things to do at your first team meeting (PDF, 25 KB)

  • Express your views as an opinion, rather than absolute truths
  • Be specific in your praise and criticism
  • Speak respectfully towards other group members
  • Always ask, never demand
  • Turn your complaints into requests
  • Be balanced – give positive as well as constructive criticism
  • Think carefully about what you want to say before you say it
  • Speak clearly, pleasantly and with confidence
  • Be assertive
  • Give some positive reinforcement to members – don’t focus all your energy on what you don’t like
  • Use ‘I’ statements
  • Be aware of your body language

Examples

What do I say when I want to say
You’re being lazy! You aren’t contributing as much as I’d like.  Is there a problem?
You’re wrong.   

I don’t think I agree with that because ….

I think that you are correct to the extent that …. However, I also think …

Stop interrupting me. Please let me finish.
That’s a stupid way to do it.

You might find it easier to do it this way.

I’m not sure that that’s the best way to do this because …

I hate it when you do that! When you do …, I feel  …, and would prefer if you did … instead.
Don’t do it like that, you should do it this way. I think it might help if you were to …