How to easily tell someone what you really want – without upsetting them.
An unknown – but great quote for you
“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer – feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.”
Wish I knew who wrote that because it’s spot on.
So often we either ask someone else – or say to ourselves –“How can I tell them that what they’re doing really needs to be better?” or “I wish I could tell them what I really want / think, without upsetting them.”
Well, it’s easy to do just that and – like most things that may seem a bit tricky at first – it takes a bit of practice. Once you’re tried it a few times and got great results; it becomes part of your toolkit. Assuming you have a range of tools in your toolkit?
As I’ve heard said many times “if the only tool you have in your toolbox is a hammer, then you’re going to treat everything like a nail.”
As professional women, communicating and connecting with people to get our work done and to keep things moving, to be acknowledged, valued and rewarded , we need a range of tools – everything from a hammer sometimes, to a ruler, to a feather duster (and everything in between.)
The tool I’m offering you to use to give strong and helpful feedback is a ‘made up’ website address (so no point “Googling” it) www.ebi.ok?
It’s simple to remember; it’s easy to use; and as a way of giving feedback it’s both natural and easy-to-take on board.
www. = What Went Well
ebi = Even Better If
ok = OK? Checking in.
How does this work and why is it useful? Well try this scenario for size.
Your colleague has just handed you an email they’ve drafted to send out to one of your clients. You read it and immediately you want to say “no, you’ve missed the point” or “it’s OK but you’ve left out the bit about XYZ”.
Put your possible response through the www.ebi.ok tool instead:
www: “It reads well and you’ve got the points we discussed in there
ebi: “and if you can bring out the part about XYZ then it’ll be spot on.”
ok: “Does that makes sense?”
Can you see, when you read it back, you’ve brought out what’s good about it first and you’ve checked in to make sure they’ve understood.
You haven’t – as so many people do – just gone headlong in to “point out” what’s wrong. It’s a very subtle and natural way to say “and even better if XYZ” – you’re saying what you want to be different/better without diving in and trampling all over the other person’s feelings.
That approach so often just closes the other person down – and what’s the point of doing that, if you want the other person to work with you and alongside you?
As a savvy and influential woman in business you want to keep people open to you, keep them listening to you and www.ebi.ok is a super-simple way to ‘have your say’ and do exactly that.
About the Author
Kay White is our Show Up & Sparkle blogger. Known as the Savvy & Influential Communication Expert for Women in Business, you can connect and find out more from Kay at: www.wayforwardsolutions.com.
AND if you’d like a Gift Chapter from Kay’s #1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood, here you go: http://www.wayforwardsolutions.com/questions/
It’s Q for Questions and is all about the best types of questions to ask, how to use them to build relationships and your confidence and when to use open and closed questions and why!