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Speaking constructively

  • Overview
  • Exercises


Being a good listener when a colleague has things on their mind - being there for them - is a natural form of social support and helps to build colleagues’ resilience.

Sharing good news with others can also help to build relationships - but only if the news is met with positive enthusiasm. So sharing and responding to good news has to be handled as sensitively as when you are helping colleagues who are facing challenging situations.

The matrix below shows four possible ways of responding to a piece of good news shared by a colleague. Destructive responses obviously don't help, but it also interesting that ‘passive constructive’ replies do nothing to build relationships. What really works, according to the research, is an active and positive response.

Speaking well to each other

Speaking constructively

So, stay true to yourself, or you will seem inauthentic, but wherever possible build positive relationships with others by making an effort to be constructive in your conversation.


Exercise - Speaking constructively

Time: 10 minutes

A short reflective exercise to help you build good relationships by responding positively to others.