Let’s look at the various degrees of mitigated language you might use in a professional
situation with others:
1. Command: Strategy X is our plan.
2. Obligation Statement: We need to try strategy X.
3. Suggestion: Why don’t we do strategy X?
4. Question: What do you think of strategy X?
5. Preference: Maybe we should look at one of these alternatives
6. Hint: I wonder if there are problems with our current plan.
The top three of are high power, command and control styles of communication
associated with men or senior-ranking people.
The bottom three examples of more mitigated speech are lower power communication
styles and tend to be favored by women or people of lower status.