Providing people with performance feedback is stressful enough without the additional challenge of handing a defensive reaction from your employee. Defenses are our natural human response to our perception that we are in danger, and it triggers our innate need for self-preservation.
In this episode, I’ll share with you four of the most common defenses that I’ve encountered during feedback conversations and give you some tools that you can immediately use to help you feel confident when handling someone who is being resistant and defensive.
PLUS, don’t miss this week’s Take Action Challenge and implement this week’s coaching tips.
Do you manage people? If so, get tools and strategies you need to take the fear out of feedback with my book You Have to Say the Words: An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance. You can find the paperback or digital version at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local book seller.
So enjoy this week’s episode of The Nimble Leader show. I appreciate you listening and I hope you tune in next week!
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TAKE ACTION CHALLENGE:
To help you stay nimble, here is this week’s Take Action Challenge. Take these 3 action steps in the next week.
1. Practice using I-statements at work and at home. You may be pleasantly surprised how this simple tool changes the way people receive your feedback. Who knows, your teenage daughter just might stop rolling her eyes at you.
2. Find a quiet spot and reflect on your own use of defenses. Which ones tend to be your go-to responses? Do you shut down, get angry, avoid and run away, or respond with excuses? If you are having trouble figuring it out, ask a trusted friend or family member. Part of managing our own hardwired defenses is to bring as much self-awareness to them as possible. You may not be able to remove the urge to flee, but you can limit the time it takes you to move through the defense into a more open frame of mind.
3. Practice responding to defensiveness with compassion and patience, but don’t let the defense intimidate you. Stay calm and professional. Listen to the section on the four common defenses and learn the tools to handle them. Practice using the 1% solution to move people from resistance to problem-solving mode. As you share feedback with your employees this week, consider how you are communicating the feedback and the locations you are choosing. Are you doing everything you can to create a safe environment for them so they can receive your feedback with an open heart?