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Handling People

Handle People Better

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality

How do you feel when confronted with the challenge of having to conduct a tough and unpleasant conversation with someone? It is normal to procrastinate and hope that the issue will go away; to avoid speaking with the person in case we ‘hurt them’ or damage the relationship and make the situation worse.

The word feedback is associated with dread by most people who cringe when asked to give and receive feedback.

There are few people who truly welcome feedback and those who do, adopt a learner mentality and a growth mindset. Our helper Salina and my cousin’s helper Kristie exemplify this behavior. They ask for, and genuinely appreciate, feedback on their cooking because they are passionate about honing their skills; are curious about what they can do to create the perfect dish, their “piece de resistance”.

By encouraging them to develop signature dishes, my cousin and I build pride and a sense of accomplishment whenever they succeed.

Givers of the feedback must hone their skills in order to get the message across in an acceptable manner; not to trigger defensiveness and overwhelm the receiver with an overload of complaints. Remember to earn the right to be critical, bearing in mind the ratio of ‘five positives to every critical feedback’.

Brutal candour is not the Asian way. We can be direct and accurate in giving feedback that matters – that will transform the individual’s performance and the impact they want to make – in a manner acceptable to the individual.If we are less skilled, we turn them off.

Handling difficult conversations from both the Giver and Receiver’s viewpoint is an art that we can all master. Ask any Manager about how he or she feels about giving and receiving feedback and you will hear ample examples of the challenges they face in upward feedback to bosses; uncooperative peers; under performing direct reports and unreasonable suppliers and clients.

Once they master the art of handling difficult conversations, notice how relaxed their body language becomes and how they are able to secure win-win-win. The impact on performance and service is transformative – all it took was a series of honest and difficult conversations to clear the air.

> Find out how we can help you Handle Yourself and Other People