Have you ever encountered an experience when someone told you how inefficient you’ve become? Maybe your superior have commented on how bad your work turned out to be. Maybe you’ve heard from other folks how people view you as unfriendly or incompetent.
Hurts, doesn’t it?
Believe it or not, some people can be so tactless that they are not even aware when they’ve hurt anyone’s feelings. The recipients, especially the sensitive ones, would be offended by their remarks.
This would result in conflicts and arguments. Miscommunication has often been the cause of arguments and failed relationships.
But what if you know you’re doing them a big favor by saving them from embarassment or frustration through your criticism? Would they realize your good intentions instead of feeling hurt by your frank comments or advice?
They might probably think you’re too rude or impolite. But what can you do if you really need to assert an honest criticism, but you’re afraid of hurting others’ feelings?
Want to know the secret?
All you have to do is sandwich your negative comment between two positive remarks.
For example, your best friend James is going on his very first date. He’s all excited and raring to go. Now James doesn’t have any fashion sense. He’s wearing a bland shirt and old jeans. You know all along how he hates to admit that he’s wrong.
So what will you do to save James from an embarassing first date? Would you tell him that the outfit he’s wearing is repulsive? That would hurt his ego.
Well, you can first point out the things that you like in his overall appearance. Comment on his well-groomed hair. Tell him he looks cool when wearing his sunglasses. Ask him where he bought his perfume because it can certainly attract women like bees to honey. Be sincere and honest.
Then, insert in a nice and suave manner your witty criticism or advice. You can tell him something like:
“Your shirt seems to be very comfortable to wear, James. Since this is your very first date, I think Sandra (his date) will be much more impressed if you would wear something like the outfit that you wore on my birthday. You look more attractive when you put on clothes like that.”
Afterwards, make another positive reinforcement. You could say something like:
“You would definitely make a big impact on Sandra. She would fall heads over heels over your gorgeous appearance and fun personality. Have a great time on your date, James.”
Do you think James would be offended by such pleasant comments? Not a chance. You have wittingly inserted a slightly negative feedback into a multitude of non-offensive and ego-boosting remarks.
People love compliments. They believe they got the qualities. They want other people to intensify the great abilities that they believe to possess. People wanted to hear their greatness purported from someone else’s mouth, and they would be very glad if other individuals would know about it.
So if you want to criticize anybody, remember to praise him first. It will leave a positive impression that you’re a nice person. Then say what you have to say, but in a smooth and non-offensive manner. Finalize with another positive statement to establish a foundation of goodwill.
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