posted by Rain Misoa on .
Which way of asking for action carries the highest level of politeness?
A. A polite order
B. An indirect request
C. A question
D. An order
I'm a bit confused as to what this question is asking for. However, I believe the answer may be B since asking for an indirect request is where you are being your most polite as to not offend the person to not do your request. But as I said, I'm not too sure about that. Any help is much appreciated.
A is most likely to get the job done, but if you're afraid of hurting someone's feelings (in which case, you have to wonder why these people are in business!), then B or C could be the intended answers.
I use C all the time with my grandkids, and the jobs get done -- mostly because they know it's really not a question!!
"Would you please take out the kitchen trash?"
It would probably vary with the culture. Although it might be polite, and indirect request might not be clear, so it is more likely to be ineffective.
I like Writeacher's choice. The question seems to allow the recipient an illusion of control, which might be perceived to the the most polite.
However, I am not in favor of merely being polite, because many times people reinforce undesired behavior in the name of "politeness." As an example, if someone tells a sexist or racist joke, listeners laugh to be "polite." However, the laughter is taken as approval and reinforces the telling of the that joke. (I know the jokes I continue to tell are the ones that get the most laughs.) In this case, it is better to not respond to the joke at all.
I hope this helps a little more.
Culture, yes, and to whom are you speaking? I found with subordinate managers, who were supposed to be executing efficient orders themselves, I could politely supervise by..
I wonder if we could better get results by....? or Have you considered...? What would be the negative impacts of that..?
If those probing questions failed to elicit the desired response, I would then resort to indirect
It seems to me that we could get better results by.... , or I personally am skekptical of the overall results of that to be...
In the end, If I had to give an order, I would do it
Please attempt this first...
If that failed,
This is the way I want it done.
On remark on your question, I am certain it came from your teacher, but I think it missed the point: Politeness is not what we strive for first in business communications with subordinates, it is civility. Civility carries with it respect for others, and one can certainly work that into a business structure "giving orders".
Um... sorry guys but you just confused me more as to what may be the answer. I mean I understand what you guys are saying but... it doesn't really help me. I don't know. I still think the answer may be B but I still have my doubts.
It is definitely not B. I'd go with C.
Oh. Okay then. I think that I should take your advice then and go with C. Thank you for helping me!