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

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

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

7

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Show them the way

Criticism without an action plan is worthless. 

Give people direction or keep your mouth shut.

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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Criteria for effective feedback
  • The feedback provider is credible in the eyes of the feedback recipient;
  • The feedback provider is trusted by the feedback recipient;
  • The feedback is conveyed with good intentions;
  • The timing and circumstances of giving the feedback are appropriate;
  • The feedback is given in an interactive manner;
  • The feedback message is clear;
  • The feedback is helpful to recipient.
The Right Time And Place

Pull the person you want to correct aside for a private, one-on-one conversation instead of highlighting their error in front of a larger group.
Also, to correct them before they get in trouble ...

Use Clarifying Questions

They will help you to:

  • Gut-check our own correction. Hearing another person's reasoning might get you to realize that you are actually the one who's wrong.
  • It makes you seem more aggressive and the person that did wrong might accept your help to make the necessary corrections.
Back Up Your Point With Evidence

When you’re correcting someone , be prepared to back up your point with real evidence, and not just your well-intended opinion.
Real data that supports your point is the single best way to correct false information.

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