The difference between being honest & being rude.
Thank you for being rude.
I'd like to start this hub by thanking someone for being rude to me as it prompted me to consider why some people appear to take pride in being rude (or "honest" as they call it). Rather than brood over what they said I've decided to use it as motivation to share some of the techniques I train regarding how to give feedback appropriately and demonstrate that it's perfectly possible to be honest and assertive without being rude.
Don't sit on my laptop!
Don't do it!
Many of us are pretty good at telling people not to do things. "Don't sit there", "Don't talk over me in meetings" and so on, and we don't understand why it doesn't have the desired results. Why don't they just stop doing whatever it is? Can't they see how much it's annoying us?
Well the answer is no, they probably can't see how much it's annoying you, mainly because they can't read your mind. You also haven't mentioned anything about what you do want, so until mankind invents telepathy we're going to have to tell them.
Put simply we need to explain a little more aboout just what the problem is and why it's annoying us so much and what we'd like them to do instead. We also need to "own the feedback" which means not being afraid to describe how it's impacting on us.
Some Useful Books
Love this book - light hearted and easy to read.
By far my favourite management book. Clear and logical. Loaned it out many times & always well received.
A funny book you can dip in and out of any time.
OK, so how do I do that?
I'm very glad you asked. Just follow these 3 simple steps:
Explain the problem.
Describe how it's impacting on you.
Let them know what you'd prefer instead.
No, it doesn't suit a neat little acronym I'm afraid but it does work, for example:
"John, when you interrupt me during meetings it prevents me getting to the point as quickly as I'd like, I'd really appreciate it if next time you've got something to say you could wait until I'm done speaking."
Of course how you say this will be important too - no good hissing it through clenched teeth or delivering it with an air of sarcasm,
Time it right.
Timing is everything.
If you're in the middle of an argument, or either of you is emotionally charged then this is less likely to work. Ideally you need address the issue at a neutral time when you've got the opportunity to discuss things rather more rationally.
And if you're wondering how to calm things when faced with someone who's "kicking off" then remember to remain calm yourself and try to ask questions rather than tell someone exactly what you think. Calmly saying "Can I ask why you're raising your voice?" generally gets you further than yelling "stop yelling at me!" (Why should they stop yelling at you when you're yelling at them?)
There's no magic wand.
Sadly there is no magic formula I can give you that will work perfectly 100% of the time, however the techniques I've briefly described above will help if you need to give feedback to another individual and wish to do so in a balanced and appropriate manner.
It's important to deliver any feedback with absolute respect for the individual concerned, as I've already mentioned, none of us are mind readers so have no idea as to exactly why the individual is behaving in the way they are.
But what if they're rude to me?
If someone is rude to you then remind yourself that you cannot control their behviours but you can control how you respond to them and, as Eleanor Roosevelt famously said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Why did that person feel the need to be so rude to me? I've no idea, but I like to think I've done something a little positive thanks to their input.