The linguistic difference between telling and requesting is that telling is used for:

  • Information, Education or Instructions, the how to
  • Take control of crises or crowds — to facilitate a greater order
  • Use rational thought to convey communication, not intuition or hunches
  • Does not elicit innovation, uses traditional didactic, one-way delivery

Requesting is used for:

  • Inviting collaboration or the pursuit of common goals together
  • Asking to shift from one reality to what could be
  • To bring about social interaction between human beings

Here are some specific ways to show respect without Telling:

  • Asking others “How would you feel if…” before making a decision which affects them
  • Voluntarily making changes and compromises to accommodate their feelings, desires and needs
  • Not interrupting their speech when relaying circumstances
  • Soliciting and allowing feedback. Trying to understand their beliefs, values and needs
  • Giving others the opportunity to solve their own problems without underestimating them, in particular:
    • Avoid telling others what to do
    • Avoid telling them what they ‘need’ to or ‘should’ do—no control language
    • Avoid giving them unsolicited advice, will appear as a sermon
Difference Between Telling and Requesting