By Valerie Cade CSP | May 21, 2008
Have you ever wondered how to say what you need to say to the bully… not at the expense of the bully or yourself?
How To Have a Classy Crucial Conversation that Counts:
Classy: Respectful, win-win, seeking the best for all.
Crucial: A needed conversation to move an issue forward for what’s “best” for the company
Conversation: A dialogue where both people are engaged and exchanging ideas and information.
Counts: Be sure that the conversation ends with a resolution or shared agreement.
Keys for a Classy Crucial Conversation:
- In order to have more control, the target should decide when the conversation will take place. Do not react to when the Bully attacks you; decide when you are ready to converse in order to get the best outcome.
- As a target, the Bully is hoping you do not have the strength to stand up for yourself. They feel better when you are down.
- By having a classy crucial conversation you will be starting to set stronger boundaries, which will protect you and help to avoid future conflicts.
How to Proceed:
- Define clearly what the situation is – something you wished was different e.g. a behavior, or a circumstance.
- What would you like to see happen instead of the stated situation above?
- Use the Classy Crucial Conversation Planner to assist you.
Using the Classy Crucial Conversation Planner:
1. Start with a Classy Statement to show your good will as opposed to a demand.
Example: “My desire is to have a win win and to support you and our customers as best as I can”.
2. Add another Classy Statement in the form of a question:
“Can I share something with you?” (the invitation).
3. The conversation:
“When (this) happens…” (share your issue/situation/what happened in your perception):
For example: “When you believe the customer over me…”
“I feel/think…” (how it affects you personally):
“I feel invalidated and hurt.”
“What I would like is…” (your expectation): Just be clear and say it…
“What I would like is for you to consider my view of what happened and also believe me as to the fact that it did happen.”
Then ask: “Can you do this?” Yes or No.
• If yes – confirm agreement: “Just so I’m clear, our agreement is….”
• If later the agreement is broken: “I thought our agreement was…”
• If no – Ask “Why?” . You may need more information (i.e.) maybe they have a good reason or a different understanding.
Have you ever attempted to talk to a bully? What happened? What did you do? How did you feel? What do you recommend?
Next Week: What To Do When the Bully Does Not Hear Your Request