Criticize Actions Not People

Since a long, long time. I have read this in one of the books and it’s one of the most important parts in management. And in particular, how to manage people.

If I could get $1 every time I heard about somebody not liking to work with another person, or having pain from their own business relationship, I would have been a millionaire by now.

There’s a big confusion between liking somebody and liking to work with somebody, or simply being efficient in working with someone; I see things in multiple perspective. In my career, I have moved from working as an individual contributor (where I am the average employee) to becoming a manager and managing a group of employees And then to becoming a manager of managers on a director level, where you need to manage those who manage others and then all the way to an executive level where you oversee the organization as a whole.

Traditionally, Dealing with people has always been a challenge for most managers; When I had that issue at some point in time, and later on when I I spoke about it in conferences and workshops, I used to reflect and give the same example:

Every time I used to give the example of kids and dealings with kids, So, if you have a problem with your child, let’s say they did something wrong, they broke something. When you come to them and you tell them.

Did you break this. Why did you break it?

More likely, the kid is going to (depending how you raised them but most of the cases) tell you all types of stories how it was not his fault, and mostly based on  psychology, it would be because he felt under attack or under threat; when you are attacking him as a person, then he will certainly try to defend himself, But if you do not attack him as a person but you try to talk to the act, then, more likely that they would understand and open up to see what’s happening.

So, the best case scenario, you would tell your kids: Listen, I still love you, you’re still my Alexander, However, I am disappointed in what you have done and your action, this particular action is not something we have agreed on this is not what I raised you to do and how to treat your sister Maria.

So, this particular action. I am upset of.

This way, you will have a discussion over the action itself rather than him being incompetent, and so on.

So as you move back to management, you look at and talk to your employee; If that employee started feeling under threat because you are touching on her competence to perform her job, eventually she will pull up her defense mechanisms, and you will lose the touch.

So, this week’s that is about focusing on the actions and not the person in your criticism, and when you want to manage the person you are actually focusing on your work relationship and therefore, you have a certain expectations that they need to meet and their actions are a big indication to that.

Trust me, it will pay off on the longer run.

Have a wonderful week.

Samer Chidiac is a Strategic Innovation Advisor, a Business Psychologist, a Philanthropist, an Author and a Speaker. 

You can check his Books on Amazon & Sellfy, Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and check his Website for More.


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