Are You Ducking a Conversation You KNOW You Need to Have?
We’ve all been there: there’s a problem with someone and you don’t know how to tell him or her about it. You don’t want to offend the person ... or worse, make an enemy! So you spend your time stressing out ... just hoping the problem will magically disappear. And you’ve been doing that for days ... weeks ... oh my gosh, has it been months now?
It’s time to face facts: the problem is not going to just go away, and there simply aren’t enough pints of Ben and Jerry’s to alleviate the stress you’re feeling (you know — you’ve given B&J every opportunity to solve this issue for you, but alas, they’ve let you down yet again!).
Time to “woman up,” as they say, and face the
But, before you do, here are some great tips that’ll help you through your difficult chat in a way that gets your thoughts and feelings expressed tactfully while helping you strengthen your relationship as well.
Review Your Concerns
When you think about providing constructive feedback, really think about the individual situation.
Answering these questions will put you in the right frame of mind to have a more nuanced conversation than “Stop doing that!” And, frankly, you might find that the irritation really is your problem ... not theirs.
Staying Calm and Positive — Your Body Language Is Showing!
Ok, you’ve decided it really is time to put the issue on the table. When you begin your conversation, it’s crucial that you don’t come across upset or angry — even if you are.
Yes, it’s annoying if somebody is constantly talking over you in meetings, messing up data, or late for appointments with you. There is no doubt about it — they are wrong, wrong, wrong! But if you want to stay in control of the conversation ... and be listened to in a way that gets results ... you’ll want to make sure that you put your frustration aside when you bring the subject up.
So take a few deep breaths. Think a few pleasant thoughts (don’t laugh, it works!). Be sure you’re in a positive mood, because no matter how perfect your words, your body language and tone are going to come through!
Conquer With Kindness
Did you know that if someone does you a favor, they’re actually more likely to see you in a positive light than if you do them a favor? It seems weird, but it’s true.
You can use that to your advantage — because when you’re giving constructive feedback, it’s not hard to spin it in a way that you’re asking them to do something as a favor to you. Now — throwing in a sincere compliment certainly doesn’t hurt, either. It goes something like this: “I just want to thank you so much for all your hard work on the synergy report! I want to know if you can do me a huge favor, I’d like to try something different next time and it’d be really helpful if you changed the format to ...”
Or “I really admire your creativity. I know that music helps you get in a creative mood. It’s just that we work in a close space here and I need quiet when I’m programming. So could you do me a favor and listen to your music with your headphones on ... it’d really help me out a lot.”
A Few More Easy Dos and Don’ts to Remember ...
Every situation is different and every person is different. But there are a few rules that are worth keeping in mind when you’re about to enter any difficult conversation:
So — take a deep breath. Smile. And go have that difficult conversation, knowing that it’s probably not going to be nearly as difficult and impossible as you thought it was going to be!We're sorry, but the comment box for this article has been closed. However, you may view the past discussion amongst your peers to see what they had to say ...
“Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.”
– Janis Joplin
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”
– Beverly Sills
“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
– Virginia Woolf
Thank you. You have given me food for thought.
This article came at a perfect time! Can you read my mind?
I appreciate all that was said in this article. Can't think of anything to add. We have to remember to respect each other's opinion and as a person and not burn any bridges.
Great article and suggestions, thank you.( Ali you are a saint, 9 months?... no siree bob she would be gone of course gently break her heart.)
I liked this atricle and will try to remember the suggested tips and techniques the next time the need arises.
Great advise. Appreciated the info.
Thank-you very much for sending The Women's Link. The information is very helpful and concentrates on the positive.
Ali that is the million dollar question; I hope I see the posted answer.
This was truly helpful to me in just giving me another viewpoint of what has happened.
This is all well and good but what do you do with a co-worker who continually talks a good game but in reality runs like the devil is after them when they need to step up.
What if you are training a peer, and she continues to make the same mistakes even after nine months? She cries at the drop of a hat, and has completely destroyed your work environment. The work is easy enough for others to learn, and she is very honored to be working with you and your knowledge.
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