7 Steps of Handling Difficult Conversations - Deepstash
How To Give And Receive Constructive Criticism

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Understanding the importance of constructive criticism

How to receive constructive criticism positively

How to use constructive criticism to improve performance

How To Give And Receive Constructive Criticism

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Step 1: I Don’t Like It

Step 1: I Don’t Like It

Notice that moment of internal resistance. It could come as irritation, impatience, or some other internal feeling of: Hey, I don’t like that.


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Step 2: What Do I Want?

Step 2: What Do I Want?

The next step is to tune into that internal resistance and get curious. Ask yourself: What’s happening here? Why am I upset? And, most importantly: What do I want to be different?


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Step 3: I Noticed…

Step 3: I Noticed…

It’s OK to feel upset inside, but if you charge at them with accusations and hostility, the most natural reaction in the world is going to be defensiveness and fighting back. Instead, you can simply point out what you noticed to enter the conversation. The purpose is to bring up the challenging topic directly in a curious and neutral way. Using the phrase “I notice” removes an accusatory tone and allows the other person to be more receptive.


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Step 4: Reflect

Step 4: Reflect

As you are exploring the situation with the other person, slow down and pay attention. As you listen, reflect on what you are hearing to make sure you understand it clearly.


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Step 5: Impact

Step 5: Impact

It's essential to share the impact of their behavior on you, and your reactions. Tell the other person what happens inside of you when they do X, Y, or Z. Just like with the previous steps, avoid using blaming language that makes the other person bad or wrong.


105 reads

Step 6: Desire

Step 6: Desire

Once you’ve stated the impact, you then move on to sharing what you actually want. Since you discovered this in Step 2, it will be a breeze to simply share it out loud.


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Step 7: Powerful Agreement

Step 7: Powerful Agreement

After stating what you want, follow up with questions to see if that works for them. This fully engages them in deciding a solution so they will take ownership and feel inspired to follow the new plan.


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