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6 Ways to Correct a Co-worker Without Coming Off as a Condescending Know-it-All

Use a Gentle, Helpful Tone

When correcting someone, avoid yelling or screaming, don't use short sentences and avoid using defensive body language.

Try to maintain an overall positive posture.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

6 Ways to Correct a Co-worker Without Coming Off as a Condescending Know-it-All

6 Ways to Correct a Co-worker Without Coming Off as a Condescending Know-it-All

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-ways-to-correct-a-coworker-without-coming-off-as-a-condescending-knowitall

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Start With Something Positive

When telling someone he's wrong, don't be too direct with your approach:

Before jumping right in with something like, “This is really wrong!”, try saying, “It’s evident that you put a ton of time and effort into this project, and it looks great!

Avoid Sounding Authoritative

Being overly authoritative, confrontational, and closed-minded when making a correction will only make you look pretentious and condescending. 

Be open for discussion and try saying “I’m looking at page 10 of this document, and something’s not quite matching up for me. Can we take a quick look at this part together?”

Incorporate Questions

Phrasing things as inquiries, rather than statements, makes it obvious that your intention is to facilitate a conversation that ultimately improves the end result—not just dole out strict demands.

Provide Evidence

Evidence is helpful for demonstrating that you have logical reasoning behind your correction—and that you’re not just shouting out random remarks to make your co-worker look incompetent.

Offer Help

It’s your chance to demonstrate that you weren’t trying to be insulting. Plus, you’ll be able to ensure that everything is correct the second time around.

Use a Gentle, Helpful Tone

When correcting someone, avoid yelling or screaming, don't use short sentences and avoid using defensive body language.

Try to maintain an overall positive posture.

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Let it Go

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Set Expectations From The Beginning

Whether you’re speaking up in a team meeting or you’re conducting a presentation, it’s important to be clear that you'll need to get all of your ideas out there before opening the floor to questions and contributions. 

This sets the tone right from the get-go that you’re aiming to share your ideas free of interruptions. This also makes it easy to halt an interrupter in his tracks.

Keep Going

Sometimes you can only fight fire with fire.

Refuse to pause for interruptions, and instead continue moving forward with your ideas. If needed, you can even pause for a second to address the interrupter and say, “one moment,” and then finish off your thought.

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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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Learn Something New

Go into every day with the hope to come out with new knowledge and insight into the world.

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Exercise Every Day

The smallest workout, such as a walk around the block or a light yoga class can be beneficial. 

After a workout, one can always feel a difference in mood, composure, and energy levels.

You’re your own best cheerleader

Talk to yourself using “you.” 

Psychologists have found that telling yourself, “you’re doing great” is better for improving your attitude and behavior than telling yourself, “I’m doing great”.

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