According to the Oxford dictionary, the word justify means-
‘Show or prove to be right or reasonable.’
Example: He justified his authority in the office.
The government needs to justify the capital punishment.
Now that you have understood the meaning and read the examples, it is time to learn how you can justify or prove yourself right or reasonable in any given situation. When you justify your opinions in English, you tend to use the language to express something which is complex in nature.
Firstly, your tone of communication should be assertive and confident. Unless you have faith in your abilities, it is hard for others to willingly accept your justification. For a fluent English speaker, it is not hard to justify oneself for a decision taken or a move implemented. But for a non-native English speaker, it is really difficult to convey that he is right in their stand. This is because there is a very thin line between justification and defending oneself. While you have reached a stage where you need to justify your acts, you may have to give back certain shrewd replies. At times, you may come across as defending your decisions and not the one who has faith in his abilities. Let us look at a sample conversation to understand how you can justify yourself without giving rise to further tension or raising a few eyebrows at your work place.
You are recently promoted to be head of your team, which deals in marketing. As part of your job, you took the extreme decision to layoff an individual as he has not been able to do any good in sales. Now, your manager wants to discuss the matter with you as he deems your decision to be irrational.
Manager: Hello Kunal, How are you doing today?
Kunal: Very well sir. I am extremely busy in my new role and to give you a heads-up I have been doing some serious thinking into changing the way the marketing team is functioning right now. I believe these changes can help boost sales to a great extent.
Manager: I am glad to hear that Kunal, but don’t you think it is a bit early in day to layoff a staff member. Have you thought through seriously?
Kunal: Yes sir, I think Kapil is not fit to be in the sales team. In fact, he is an IT graduate and has great knowledge into software domain. I am thinking to give his application to the HR for an IT role. I think that will help him pursue his passion and also help the marketing team to hire the right candidate that can fetch sales.
Manager: That’s fine, if there is an alternative then I am okay with your decision. Thanks for your passion and I see you have keenness to work as a team member and not just a senior.
The above is a sample conversation on how you can sound assertive and justify yourself to come out clean of a tricky situation. For more situational conversation tips and tricks, join our online spoken English course. Once you get the confidence to speak English fluently, then there is no looking back.
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-By Shailja Varma
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