Conflict Resolution

How To Make Criticism Work For You

Conflict ResolutionYou’ve got to be wise as an owl. If you ever criticize someone … inappropriately … and they respond with defensiveness and counterattacks, you’re in trouble. Saying “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t mean it” seldom works and seldom calms them down. You’re much better off doing your thinking before you criticize someone than apologizing to them after you speak.

You’re much better off if you take a couple of minutes to ask yourself 3 questions before you give any criticism. If you can answer “yes” to all 3 questions, your chances of communication success are much higher. So ask yourself:

  1. Does a threat exist? (Is that person doing something that is interfering with your happiness and success on or off the job?)
  2. Is it worth a fight? (And yes, some things are worth fighting for … more respect, bigger market share, a more effective team, or a better marriage. Other things aren’t worth your time to criticize and try to fix.)
  3. If I fight, can I make a difference? (If all your experience tells you the other person won’t even listen to you, then skip it. But if you think your comment has a fair chance of getting a fair hearing, go for it.)

This is just one of the many skills you will learn and master at my keynote and/or seminar on “The Partnership Payoff: 7 Keys To Better Relationships And Greater Teamwork.” Click here to check it out, and give me a call if you’d like to discuss an upcoming meeting.