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How to give and respond to suggestions

Giving suggestions is a key communicative skill in business. We are required to give people our suggestions on a daily basis. In fact, providing suggestions is an essential problem-solving skill set to possess.

With that being said, today on the Art of Business English, I am going to share with you some phrases you can use when making suggestions, as well as how you can respond to people who provide suggestions.

Finally, I will also give you a few phrases you can use to express reservations, this is when you are not really convinced by what someone has proposed.

Effective communication skills are essential when participating in business meetings. If you’re serious about improving your English communication skills, then why don’t you check out my course “Confidence in Business Meetings”.

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Ok, now to the episode!

Watch the episode here

Phrases for making suggestions

Firstly, it is important to note that many of these expressions are used frequently in fairly informal contexts. They are everyday English expressions, so make sure you are sensitive to the situation you are using them in.

How do/would you feel about…?

How would you feel about implementing weekly one on one’s with direct reports?”

Could we go for…?

Could we go for something a bit more creative? I feel this has been done before.”

What do you think about…?

What do you think about implementing a new approach to strategic planning within the organisation?”

I was thinking of…

I was thinking of discussing this problem with Mark, do you think he would be OK with that?”

How does… (insert idea) … strike you?

How does advertising on Instagram strike you as a strategy for marketing this summer?”

It would be great if you could come up with…

It would be great if you could come up with some additional design ideas. These ones are not really getting the team excited.”

Would you consider…instead?

Would you consider offering new customers a 10% discount instead?”

Phrases for responding to suggestions

That’s a fantastic idea!

That’s a fantastic idea, all the data points to improved performance with weekly one on one’s”

I think that is too dangerous

I think that is too dangerous, we should stick with what works and not try and reinvent the wheel.”

It doesn’t grab me

It doesn’t grab me, it just sounds like creating more work which will mean we have less time for actual strategic planning!”

I’d/he’d/she’d/We’d/They’d go for it

He’d go for it, Mark is always ready to lend a hand.”

Let’s go with that

Let’s go with that, we can promote our new range of swimsuits on Instagram.”

I’m torn between

I’m torn between these two colours for the marketing design imagery.”

That’s not very original

That’s not very original, plus if we give new customers a discount, then what about our old ones too?”

Words to show reservations

Let’s take a look at the final part of the episode here today.

Below I have provided a list of expressions in bold that you can use as introductory phrases to express to someone that you have some reservations about their suggestions.

Remember, to have reservations means that you are not convinced by what someone has proposed to you.


Frankly John, I don’t care what you think!

With all due respect

With all due respect, I think you’ve got the wrong impression of me.

To put it bluntly

To put it bluntly, you’re wasting my time. (Put it bluntly means that you are going to be honest, even if it upsets the other person)

As a matter of fact

As a matter of fact, I think you may have found the solution!

To be honest

To be honest, I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with this.


Actually, I thought the meeting was on Friday not Monday.

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Final thoughts

Well, that brings is to the end of this week’s episode. I hope you have found these expressions useful. They should provide you with more vocabulary to help you participate in meetings and make suggestions at work.

If you liked this episode then please share it with your friends. You can also give me a 5-star rating on iTunes, I would really appreciate it.

Don’t forget to check out my course on business meetings and register with us to get a 50% discount voucher sent directly to your inbox.
That is it from me for another week.

See you all next week on the Art of Business English!

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

Andrew Ambrosius

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