Sign up FAST! Login

When You Criticize Someone, You Make It Harder for that Person to Change - Daniel Goleman - Harvard Business Review


Stashed in: Change, Listen!, Awesome, HBR, The Internet is my religion., Relationships, Leadership

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Bottom line: don’t focus on only on weaknesses, but on hopes and dreams. It’s what our brains are wired to do.

Offer an alternative, then listen.

Yes, that summarizes it well.  Thank you.

Happily!

LOL!  (:->

Allow me a brief opportunity to invert sexism and chauvinism to share one data point from direct experience that obliquely correlates with Goleman's observation and offers a valuable, practical application.

I've found us USA guys are biologically and culturally conditioned to reflexively solve problems and offer immediate solutions, which only works flawlessly with other people when they're all on the same team in a life-threatening situation.  Which is next to never these days.

So as an average guy, it took me near 50 years to figure out that when people start talking to me about anything that leads to a problem, 99% of the time they simply want me to shut up, nod and be a sounding board, not offer a solution.  And believe me, I've tried to overcome this tediousness through a near infinite number variations of response over the years, all of them failed--even when offering a sure fire solution with a proven better way people still felt like they were being criticized because, like it or not, they're ultimately implicated in having made the original mistake and now must recognize that fact in order to fix it.  That's when I realized that the most successful turnaround business interventions are those where they've fired all veteran management and replaced them with outside leadership--the tenured codgers were simply to vested in their own abilities and unable to admit, or couldn't accept, personal responsibility in allowing the original problem to happen.

The most valuable takeaway for me on this realization shows up at home, with my wife: before she gets going I always ask her right upfront, "Honey, do you want me to solve something here or just listen?"  And 99% of the time it's simply just listen.  This is the easiest recipe I've ever found to accelerate ever increasing bliss and gratitude in the home.  Wish I would've learned it years ago...

... and who knows, maybe it works in other cultures too.

You May Also Like: