Blue Square Concepts on The Power of Directness
When running a business, it’s important to be in control, however many entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance the thin line between being direct and straightforward, and appearing rude or arrogant. Here at Blue Square Concepts we recognize that authority is a tightrope act, and although every boss wants to appear in charge, it’s important to recognize that you’re dealing with human beings. People don’t always take things in the spirit you may have meant them. With this in mind, Blue Square Concepts takes a look at some tips for being direct and authoritative, without appearing rude.
Criticize the Opinion, Not the Person
When a colleague or employee presents an idea or opinion that you think is crazy or stupid, it’s easy to fall into the trap of levelling your criticism at the person. Pay close attention to where you’re pointing that critical mind. Try and stick to discussing why the idea is problematic, and offering alternatives.
Make Fewer Assumptions
At Blue Square Concepts, our research shows that a lot of communication problems begin because one party is basing some of their opinion on assumptions. Check that what you’re saying is based on fact, and if you don’t know, find the facts before stating an opinion.
For example you might think that a project is failing because a certain employee is not pulling their weight, but are you sure that information is based in reality? You could say, “You’re being lazy, and you’re messing up this project,” or you could toss your assumptions aside and say, “This project is not going as well as I’d expected. Do you have any ideas why that would be?” You might be surprised by what you discover.
One of the biggest things you can do to balance out your authority is to decide between winning and solving problems. Successful people don’t always have to be right, nor do they rely on just their own opinion. If you’re in a disagreement with someone, try to take a step back and figure out if you’re just trying to win an argument at the expense of the actual goal.