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How To Tell Someone They're Wrong (And Make Them Feel Good About It)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenberglas/2011/03/22/how-to-tell-someone-theyre-wrong-and-make-them-feel-good-about-it/

forbes.com

How To Tell Someone They're Wrong (And Make Them Feel Good About It)
There are plenty of reasons not to tell someone they're wrong. It's uncomfortable, for one thing. You also might come off as rigid, unsympathetic, arrogant, or worst of all, politically incorrect. In some cases, depending on how much alcohol is involved, you might even get smacked in the mouth.

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Never qualify

When preparing to tell someone what they did wrong, avoid using qualifications like "With all due respect," "No offense," or "Don't take this the wrong way" to soften criticism.

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Say what the problem is

... and if you must amplify your message, say where your data came from. Never try to simultaneously be a good cop and a bad cop. 

Make it clear that your goal is constructive change.

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Ambiguity is your enemy

... when telling someone they're wrong.

Be concrete and don't sermonize, even if the person that's receiving your criticism knows she did something wrong.

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Deal in facts

Objectivity is crucial to constructive criticism.

The goal is to communicate that a performance standard has not been met. Your sentiments/judgments are irrelevant.

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Focus on behavior, not character

For example, in saying "You were lazy in preparing this report" you may think you are helping the other person to improve a skills; instead, it addresses your assumption about the person's attitude toward their work.

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Show them the way

Criticism without an action plan is worthless. 

Give people direction or keep your mouth shut.

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Let the fixes feel like their own

If people feel you support their fundamental views and value them, the change will be easy and natural.

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