This insight was a game changer for me. I learned it during a seminar at my Venusian Arts Coaching Training Program.
The idea is simple. Instead of out right criticizing someone, follow this “formula” instead.
First, praise. Sincerely. That means finding a positive detail about someone and praising it. A generic “yeah, yeah that’s good” won’t cut it. An honest-to-God detail you saw that you truly admired will. What if you can’t find a good detail? You CAN. There’s ALWAYS good to be found.
Second, correct. Now you can point out what it is that could be improved on.
Finally, praise again. Don’t end on a negative note. End on a positive note.
Most people just out right criticize each other, and find fault, instead of considering how it might make that person feel. Outright criticism puts a person on the defensive, feeds arguments, hurts feelings, and just plain breeds negativity.
But if you find the good in a person–genuinely–then gently point out what could be “corrected,” and finally emphasize the good again, it makes it more likely you or me or any one of us will listen to the “correction.” And, maybe best of all, it forces us to see the good (not just the bad) in each other.
Inevitably, we’ll have conflicts with our women. This technique is one great way to dealing with those. Agree or praise, then assert your view. Keep agreeing or praising, and gently asserting. It defuses negativity, allows a person to be “heard,” which in turn allows you to be heard.
In that way, it’s a great way of dealing not with just women, but with conflicts in general.
It’s easy just to tear down. But in the long run, it’s so much simpler to be on a person’s side.