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The Power of the Positive


This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog


The Power of the PositiveAfter browsing through EPSO’s website, we performed a task we do from time to time, namely updating our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


We could not help but notice something in common: in both places, lots of negative sentences were used like “You will be disqualified if”, “You cannot apply if” or “You cannot start a new test until” and so on. Why not say the exact same thing, but in a positive way?


Here as some examples:


“If you fail the pre-selection test, you will…” vs. “Only those who pass the pre-selection test will…”


“Don’t throw garbage on the streets” vs. “Keep the city clean”


“EPSO cannot be held responsible for late arrival to the test centre” vs. “It is your responsibility to arrive on time to the test centre”


“We do not think you are eligible for the AST3 competition” vs. “It seems you will be eligible for the AD7 competition instead”


“You must not apply for two profiles at the same time” vs. “You can apply for one profile in each competition”


There are tons of examples all over, both online and offline: look at companies’ terms of use, EU exam rules, press releases or internal policies.


When authorities or those setting rules are talking, they tend to do it in a non-negotiable, harsh and quite discouraging way.


It doesn’t have to be so. You can say the same message, but with a different tone… so we decided to rewrite our answers to please our readers. It only took ten minutes to rephrase outdated, negative answers.


Isn’t it worth the effort to please citizens, candidates, readers or customers?


(Image credit: Psychology Today)


Posted in Online EU Training

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