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McGraw-Hill/Irwin ©2009 The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights Reserved
CopyrightCopyright © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.© 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.McGraw-Hill/IrwinMcGraw-Hill/Irwin
Chapter 3Chapter 3Chapter 3Chapter 3Building Goodwill
GoodwillYou-AttitudePositive Emphasis Tone, Power, and PolitenessBias-Free Language
Build goodwill through You-attitude Positive emphasis Bias-free
Looks at things from audience’s viewpoint
Emphasizes what audience wants to know
Respects audience’s intelligence Protects audience’s ego
Five Ways to Create You-Attitude
1. Talk about audience, not yourself.
2. Refer to audience’s request or order.
3. Don’t talk about feelings.
4. In positive situations, use you more often than I. Use we when it includes the audience.
5. In negative situations, avoid you.
Talk About Audience, Not Yourself
Tell how message affects the audience
Don’t mention communicator’s work or generosity
Stress what audience wants to know
Talk About Audience: Examples
Lacks you-attitude I negotiated an agreement with Apex
Rent-a-Car that gives you a discount. We shipped your May 21 order today.
Contains you-attitude You now get a 20% discount when you
rent a car from Apex. The three coin sets you ordered will ship
today and should reach you by June 6.
Refer to Audience’s Request or Order Specifically Make specific
references, not generic
Name content of order for person or small business
Cite purchase order numbers for customers that order often
Refer to Audience’s Request or Order Specifically: Examples
Lacks you-attitude We shipped your order today.
Contains you-attitude The 500 red and gray sweatshirts you
ordered were shipped today and will reach you early next week.
Your P.O. 7823-N shipped on 11/04 and will arrive within five business days.
Don’t Talk About Feelings
Don’t talk about audience’s feelings
Don’t predict audience’s response
Only express feelings to Offer sympathy Congratulate
Don’t Talk About Feelings: Examples Lacks you-attitude
We are happy to give you a credit line of $2,000.
You will be happy to learn that your reimbursement request has been approved.
Contains you-attitude You now have a $2,000 credit line with VISA. Your reimbursement request has been
In Positive Situations, Use You More Often Than I. Use We If It Includes the Audience
Use you in positive situations Avoid I in printed text Avoid we if it excludes the audience
In Positive Situations, Use You More Often Than I. Use We If It Includes the Audience: Examples Lacks you-attitude
We provide exercise equipment to all employees.
I will schedule a due date that works best for my schedule.
Contains you-attitude You have access to the latest exercise
equipment as a full-time employee of RAC Inc. We will schedule the due date after we meet.
Avoid You in Negative Situations
Protect audience’s ego Avoid assigning blame
Use passive verbs Use impersonal style
Talk about things, not people
Avoid You in Negative Situations: Examples Lacks you-attitude
You failed to sign your flexible spending account form.
You made no allowance for inflation in your estimate.
Contains you-attitude Your flexible spending account form
was not signed. The estimate makes no allowance
for inflation. impersonal
You-Attitude Beyond Sentence Level
Be complete Anticipate and answer questions Show why info is important Show how the subject affects audience Put most important info first Arrange info to meet audience’s needs Use headings and lists
Way of looking at situations Focuses on the positive Create positive emphasis through
Words Information Organization Layout
Half full or half empty?Half full or half empty?3-17
Five Ways to Create Positive Emphasis1. Avoid negative words
2. Beware of hidden negatives
3. Focus on what audience can do, not limitations
4. Justify negative information by giving reason or linking to audience benefit
5. Put negative information in the middle and present it compactly
Avoid Negative Words: Examples
Contains Negatives Never fail to return library books on time. Because you failed to pay your bill, your
account is delinquent.
Omits Negatives (Better) Always return library books on time. The account is past due.
Beware of hidden negatives: Examples Contains Negatives
I hope this is the information you wanted. Please be patient as we switch to the automated
Omits Negatives (Better) Enclosed is a brochure about joining the MI
Retiree Association. You’ll be able to get information instantly about
any house on the market once the automated system is in place. If you have questions during the transition, please call Sheryl Brown.
Focus on What the Audience Can Do: Example
Negative You will not get your refund check until
you submit your official grade report at the end of the semester.
Better To receive your refund check, submit
your official grade report at the end of the semester.
Justify Negative Information by Giving Reason or Linking to Audience Benefit: Example
Negative You cannot take vacation days without
prior approval from your supervisor.
Better To ensure that everyone’s duties will be
covered, submit your first and second choices of vacation time to your supervisor by May 30.
Put the Negative in the Middle and Present it Compactly
Put in middle of message and paragraph
Don’t put at bottom of page 1
Don’t list with bulleted or numbered lists
Make it short as you can Give it only once
Tone, Power, and Politeness
Tone – implied attitude of the communicator toward the audience
Good tone Businesslike, not stiff Friendly, not phony Confident, not arrogant Polite, not groveling
Levels of Politeness: Examples
Highest: Would you be able to complete your report by Friday?
High: Progress reports should be turned in by Friday.
Mid: Please turn in your progress report by Friday.
Low: Turn in your progress report by Friday.
Words that do not discriminate on basis of Sex Age Ethnicity Race Physical condition Religion
Making Language Nonsexist Treat both sexes neutrally
Businessman = Business person
Woman doctor = Doctor Manning = Staffing
Don’t assume everyone is heterosexual or married
Making Language Nonsexist, continued… Avoid sexist job
titles Actress Repairman Chairman Salesman Foreman Waitress
Making Language Nonsexist, continued…
Use Ms. as courtesy title for women Use professional title instead (if
any) Use Miss or Mrs. if audience
Determine proper courtesy title for letter address and salutation
Omit sexist generic pronouns3-29
Making Language Nonracist and Nonagist Give age or race only if relevant Refer to a group by term it prefers Don’t suggest competence is rare:
She is an asset to her race. He is an active 83-year-old.
Talking about People with Disabilities & Diseases People-first language —
Name person first; add disability or disease if relevant
Don’t imply that disability or disease defines person
Don’t use negative terms, unless audience prefers them (deaf vs. hard of hearing)
Choosing Bias-Free Photos/Illustrations
Check visuals for possible bias Do they show people of both sexes and
all races? Is there a sprinkling of various kinds of
people? It is OK to have individual pictures that
have just one sex or one race?
Check relationships and authority figures as well as numbers.