Help Me Understand

listeningThe next time you are tempted to confront someone about their inexcusable behavior or bad attitude, consider that very few of us respond to criticism or negative feedback with a genuine desire to improve.

It’s more likely that we become snarky and passive-aggressive and take the attitude or behavior underground where it can avoid detection yet still do damage.

Instead, try this approach:  Pull the person aside to a private location, ideally behind a closed door, and in a warm tone of voice, say something like, “Help me understand what just went on in the staff meeting,” or, “I’m wondering about the pile of dirty dishes in your room.”

Getting the issue on the table in this way will help to reduce the defensiveness that naturally arises when people perceive themselves as under attack. And the lower the defensiveness, the more quickly issues
can get resolved.