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UMBC Wellness in the Workplace

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May 2011: Language Series Practice #5 – “Make gracious offers”

One of the relationship-building linguistic tools that we have in our tool belt is our ability to make offers. When we make an offer to someone, we put ourselves forward to assist another in a situation where we perceive something may be missing. Perhaps we perceive a colleague is stressed – we may offer to assist with a particular task. In another instance, we may simply offer to get our partner a cup of coffee or something else that we know they like. When we make an offer, we are in a sense creating a conditional promise that we will complete the action that was offered. Unlike requests where the commitment is on the listener, in making offers, the commitment lies with the speaker. It is important that we follow-through on what was promised, for the sake of building trust with our partner.

See the attached worksheet that includes more information about offers and how they impact our relationships, as well as a self-coaching exercise. In the next month, begin observing yourself around this notion of offers – how frequently you make them, to whom, how frequently others make them to you, and the result of being on the giving and receiving side of offers. What do you notice? What is the impact of offers on the various partnerships in your life?


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