What’s New


Difficult Conversations? Discover 10 Business English Phrases to Navigate Through

Team Loop English

Audio: Difficult Conversations

As a non-native English speaker, mastering Business English can be daunting. However, it is a necessary skill to thrive professionally in today's global economy. Whether you are preparing for a job interview, negotiating a deal, or giving a presentation, tough conversations are inevitable in the world of business. In this blog, we will provide you with ten business English expressions to help you navigate those tough conversations and communicate more confidently.

Tough Meeting

1. "Can we discuss this in more detail?"

This phrase is frequently employed as a conversational tactic to steer the discussion toward a particular subject matter while simultaneously prompting the speaker to provide a more comprehensive and detailed account of the information being discussed. This strategy proves to be particularly advantageous when engaging in conversations regarding sensitive topics that necessitate a deeper level of insight and understanding.

2. "I think we have a misunderstanding here."

When you perceive a disparity between your viewpoint and that of another person, this phrase can assist in resolving any misunderstandings. It is a diplomatic means of expressing disagreement without offending. This approach is commonly employed during contract negotiations or project planning meetings, where misconstrued interpretations could potentially give rise to avoidable complications.

3. "We need to address the elephant in the room."

This expression brings up an issue that everyone is aware of but often avoids discussing openly. The 'elephant' in this context serves as a powerful metaphor for a significant problem or controversial issue that may be causing discomfort or tension. It is commonly used in team meetings where there is a need to address the behavior of a problematic employee or when discussing necessary budget cuts within a company. By acknowledging the presence of the metaphorical elephant, it encourages open and honest conversations, fostering a healthier and more transparent work environment.

4. "Let's take a step back for a moment."

This phrase serves as a powerful tool in diffusing tension during a heated debate or when a conversation is veering off track. It's a momentary pause that allows the participants to take a step back, reassess the situation, and realign the conversation with the main issue at hand. For instance, in project discussions that are spiraling into personal disagreements, or in meetings where the primary agenda is being overshadowed by tangential topics. By employing this technique, individuals can create a space for open dialogue and constructive problem-solving, ultimately fostering a more productive and harmonious environment for collaboration.

5. "I would like your input on this."

This phrase is a diplomatic and considerate way to engage a quiet person in a conversation or to seek someone's opinion indirectly. It is beneficial in collaborative settings such as brainstorming sessions, where diverse perspectives and ideas are highly valued. This approach creates an inclusive environment where individuals feel heard, valued, and encouraged to contribute their unique insights. Embracing such a communication style fosters a culture of respect and openness, enabling fruitful discussions and nurturing creativity within a team.

6. "Let's put our heads together and come up with a plan"

This phrase can be effectively utilized to foster collaboration and facilitate the collective brainstorming of ideas in order to work towards a shared objective. By encouraging open and transparent communication channels and harnessing the power of collective thinking, individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise can come together to leverage their diverse perspectives and insights. This collaborative approach not only generates innovative solutions but also establishes a sense of ownership and collective responsibility towards achieving successful outcomes. By fostering an environment that values active participation, respects different viewpoints, and promotes constructive dialogue, the potential for creativity and problem-solving is maximized, ultimately leading to more impactful and sustainable results.

7. "I see where you're coming from, but"

This expression is perfect when you want to acknowledge and sincerely respect the other party's perspective, demonstrating your genuine openness to different viewpoints. By doing so, you create an atmosphere of inclusivity and encourage a healthy exchange of ideas. However, while valuing their opinion, you also want to assert your own alternate perspective, presenting additional insights, examples, and considerations that contribute to a well-rounded discussion. This approach allows for a deeper exploration of the topic and fosters a collaborative environment where all viewpoints are heard and respected. Ultimately, embracing diverse perspectives leads to greater understanding, growth, and the potential for innovative solutions.

8. "Let's review our options"

This phrase suggests the importance of diligently and meticulously considering and evaluating a wide range of alternatives, considering all relevant factors, to make a well-informed decision. This approach can prove highly advantageous, particularly when confronted with a complex and intricate situation that presents many choices, each with its own implications. Individuals can effectively navigate even the most challenging and demanding cases with confidence and assurance by dedicating time and effort to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks, thoroughly analyze the possible outcomes, and thoughtfully consider various perspectives. Moreover, by adopting this deliberative mindset, individuals can ensure that the choices they ultimately make align with their values and aspirations and are conducive to their long-term objectives and aspirations.

9. "If I understand correctly, you're saying..."

This expression comes in handy when you want to ensure that you have the correct understanding of the other person's perspective. Using this phrase, you can effectively communicate your desire to grasp their point of view and show genuine interest in their thoughts and opinions. It can be particularly useful when clarity and empathy are vital, such as during meaningful discussions or negotiations. Embracing this approach fosters effective communication and strengthens relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

10. "Can we find a middle ground?"

This expression is advantageous when you find yourself in a situation where you must reach a mutual agreement or compromise with the other party. It serves as a powerful tool to foster open communication, bridge differences, and work toward a resolution that satisfies all parties involved. By using this expression, you can effectively navigate challenging conversations and facilitate a constructive dialogue that leads to positive outcomes.


In conclusion, having tough conversations is inevitable in the world of business. However, mastering Business English can make these conversations more manageable and enable you to communicate confidently. The expressions shared in this blog can help you navigate through these conversations effectively. Keep in mind that practicing these expressions is essential to feel more confident using them in situational contexts. Don't forget that with Loop English, you can access industry and role-specific courses designed to cater to business English learners' needs and proficiency levels. Start your learning journey today, and master business English like a pro!

Loop English: Learn Real English for Today's Business
App Store
Google Play