Have you been involved in difficult conversations when you wished you had strategic communications skills in your tool box?
Do you want to stop making others feel defensive while giving them constructive feedback?
If so, Great! This article will give you 5 strategies to use the next time you are in these complex situations. We’ve all dealt with people who become defensive. How you react can influence your future relationship with this person.
Strategic Communications #1- Understand Your Role
- When someone responds defensively to you, ask yourself,“What did I just do to cause that defensive reaction?”
- Whenever someone says or does something that causes you to become defensive, ask yourself, “What did that person do to cause that reaction from me?”
Strategic Communications #2 – Use Constructive Feedback Wisely
Constructive feedback is a gift that you give to people you truly care about. This statement is hard for some people to grasp. Think about a time when someone gave you feedback in a constructive way. What did you learn from this experience? Use that knowledge to help your coworkers.
Strategic Communications # 3 – Disarm Toxic Comments
The next time you’re confronted with a toxic comment, be prepared! Pretend you’re in their situation. Figure out why they are behaving this way. This helps us respond, not react. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were in their shoes?” We can’t put our head on their shoulders.
Strategic Communications #4 – Know How to React
If the toxic comment were delivered as constructive criticism, would there be any truth to it? If so, how will you react?
- Don’t explain or defend yourself when something goes wrong.
- Acknowledge, apologize and act – versus explain. Explanations come across as excuses.
- Agree if what they say is somewhat true.
- Don’t blame it on someone else, even when you know who made the mistake.
Strategic Communications # 5 – Know What NOT to Do
When people give feedback, they do it to influence future behavior – not to change the past. Though it may be difficult to hear, try to listen and:
- Don’t defend yourself
- Don’t deny responsibility
- Don’t counter attack
- Don’t withdraw
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Until next time,
This is Joyce Weiss, Communication Strategist and Coach
I share powerful techniques on tackling tough conversations to build employee engagement, accountability, and improve my client’s quality of life.
Feel free to call me (800.713.1926) concerning your own team/executive retreats, workshops, and on line professional growth coaching.
Remember…You Get What YOU Tolerate!
See YOU Next Week.