People with high emotional intelligence tend to know a thing or two about how to talk to people in the workplace. They use specific vernacular and phrases that help teach others to treat them with respect – and capture their attention, according to Bill Murphy Jr. in an article for

  1. “I can do what you ask, on condition that we X.”

Almost every interaction in life includes at least the potential for negotiation. In many instances, one party in a conversation simply decides to go along with what the other person suggests.

  1. “Thank you for X. I’d like to do Y, instead.”

Obviously, X and Y are variables here; you’re going to replace them with something the other person has said or suggested [X], and whatever you’d like to suggest [Y].

  1. “I only have a minute, but … “

People with high emotional intelligence use this phrase to take control, leverage anxiety and establish respect. Even if someone doesn’t want to have the conversation for some reason, there’s a natural inclination to feel grateful or elevated by the fact that the other person is spending their limited time with you.

  1. “I disagree.”

Emotionally intelligent people understand that disagreeing – and possibly, as Jeff Bezos famously popularized, saying that you “disagree and commit” – leverages apprehension and encourages respect.

  1. “Here’s the plan.”

Stating that you have a plan or an idea or a proposal is like having the opportunity to serve (rather than return) in tennis. At the very least, it gives you the chance to set the rules, inspire respect and let the other person react to your overtures.

  1. “I’d like to ask … “

No matter how you finish this phrase, chances are you’re communicating to the other person that your respect something about them, and thus inspiring respect for you in return.