The Parent/Teacher Conference
Another very delicate situation in which you might have to make requests diplomatically is in a parent/teacher conference. You're the teacher, teacher's aid, social worker, or principal at a school, and you are speaking with the parent of a child who is having a hard time in class. You'd like to get the parent more involved in helping the child with homework and discipline issues, but you cannot phrase these things directly. Think about how you might feel if a teacher told you bluntly to read more often to your child. You might be a lot more inclined to do so if the request is phrased like this:
Subject Areas and Skills
You'll want to use diplomacy when discussing children with their parents, especially if you need the parents' cooperation in resolving any problems. Review your tools: impersonal expressions with infinitives, polite requests with infinitives, and
Listen to each polite request on Track 45 as you follow along in the text. Repeat each example after you hear it.
(Jaime understands a lot, but he doesn't always retain things well.)
(Jaime really likes to learn. Can you help him review his homework?)
(Jaime is a good boy, but he doesn't always behave well. Can you help us with discipline?)
(Jaime has to be inspired to make more of an effort. Do you have any recommendations?)
So now you have an idea of how to make your requests politely. Keep practicing and you'll soon be very adept at getting people to do what you want and making them feel good about it!