Do you want to learn how to diffuse defensive behavior? Does this sound familiar? Did you say an innocent remark, only to get a defensive reply? We’ve all been there. And when such a situation happens you have two options.
You can either continue the defensive behavior. And start a vicious cycle of yelling and infighting. Or you can diffuse the defensiveness by being direct with respect®.
What is be direct with respect®? It’s a communication technique that helps you build rapport with others. Additionally, this creates meaningful and productive relationships. It means being honest about your feelings without anger or accusation.
When you’re direct with respect, people know where they stand. In fact, there is no gray area. And only black and white.
So the Next Time You Want to Diffuse Defensive Behavior, Change it with these Four Strategies:
Ask yourself, “What did I just do to cause that defensive reaction?” Whenever someone responds defensively to you.
At times, we blame others for these behaviors. And sometimes the blame rests squarely on our shoulders.
So have the courage to take responsibility. Perhaps you said or did something to trigger the other person’s defensive behavior.
Whenever someone causes you to become defensive, ask yourself, “What did that person do to cause that reaction from me?”
This does two things. First, it helps you learn what you shouldn’t do to others. Secondly, it helps you phrase your best reply to the person.
Diffuse the defensiveness with the Be Direct with Respect® statement:
I am ____________ when _____________ because ____________.
For example, “I am frustrated when I’m spoken to in a derogatory way because I’m a part of this team too.”
Such a statement is not accusatory. Additionally, it focuses on the behavior and not the person.
Keep defensive behavior from even starting.
Think of ways to give constructive feedback to the person that’s positively focused.
The idea is to show the other person you want to be helpful. Additionally, it’s about solving a challenge at the same time.
For example, instead of saying, “Why would you put the summary at the end when it’s the most important part of the report?”
There is a more positive, Be Direct with Respect® way of saying the same thing. “It would be more effective if the summary was in the front rather than at the end of this report.”
Also, remember that your tone of voice can make a big difference in how someone perceives your message.
Start to implement the Be Direct with Respect® strategies to diffuse defensive behavior. You’ll find that people’s defensiveness diminishes. And communicating with others becomes easier. Subsequently, that’s one goal everyone wants to strive for.
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Joyce Weiss: The HR Professional’s Partner. She coaches employees and managers so they feel heard and respected. Which means they feel comfortable using their voice without losing their cool.
Kick Conflict to the Curb™ is her newest online 6-week course that is getting a lot of buzz in the training industry. Participants learn how to tackle tough conversations and earn the respect they deserve.
Joyce Weiss Training and Development LLC is Certified as a Best Practices Company. She is recognized by Espeakers as a Certified Virtual Presenter. The National Speakers Association awarded Joyce as a Certified Speaking Professional.
Do you want to Kick Conflict to the Curb™? Contact Joyce at 248.681.5831 or Joyce@JoyceWeiss.com.