Tips From JJ (Sept '16) Let it Go!

What do you do when you find yourself in conflict with someone who is criticizing you?


I’m sure you would prefer to never have conflict in your life, but life is full of such contrasts. From these differences with others, you grow to prefer something different or better. This is usually what happens when someone criticizes you. Immediately you are surprised that they don’t see the situation the same as you do. Then your reaction sets in with anger, hurt feelings, tears, resentment, defensiveness or even a desire to retaliate on the spot.

The more blind sided you feel, the more time you need to take before you respond. Hopefully, you want to retain the relationship, so respond naturally with, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Show your surprise but stay neutral until you have time to think on your feet.

Ask for details on why they needed to criticize you. In your mind, decide if their criticism is valid and what part you played in the conflict. Most conflicts are not all black or white, but have lots of gray in the middle.

Regardless of whether it's valid or not, avoid pushing back or passive counter attacking! When you push back you give the other person the control, and you’re also fueling the fire of emotions.

Listen and assess the situation quietly and you’ll make the other person feel more safe. According to the Crucial Conversations book, making them feel safe is important for the conflict to be resolved more quickly.

If you’re face to face, watch for nonverbal signals, such as arms folded in front of them, frowning, hands on both hips, etc., and if on the phone, listen for angry or harsh out-of-control tones in the voice. They'll tell you the depth of conflict you’re facing.

By doing these things, the control is yours, not their’s.

Paraphrase back what you understood. “If I understood you, you feel ….”

If you feel it’s unjustified criticism, stay neutral and say, "You may be right…” If it is justified, say, “I’m not clear about…what did …”

Take action and admit the truth as you see it, and ask for a solution. Say, “What would you like….”

Remember, seek first to understand the other person and then to be understood! This is one of the habits from, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

Once you've dealt with the criticism and conflict, don’t over analyze it.

Follow through with the agreed action and let it go! You’re probably thinking, easer said than done, and you’re right! So every time you find yourself thinking about it, say to yourself, “Let it go!” and immediately change your thoughts to more pleasant subjects.

Gain growth from the situation and move on! Let it go!


"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right."
~ Henry Ford

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."
~ Henry David Thoreau


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JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
1716 Husted Ave.
San Jose, CA 95124
Phone 408 445-1590

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CMC) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound calling.

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JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC, JJ Lauderbaugh & Associates, 2016
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