We have all been there. Your co-worker is super negative and exists solely to turn your positive day into a negative one. We have to make it stop, but we are perplexed and have no iea where to start.
It is necessary to have a set of rebuttals and reversals in your pocket ahead of time so you can be prepared for the worse, and are ready to turn it around for the better.
You need a set of comebacks for your repertoire to not just survive but thrive.
Here are the 7 R’s to turn around a conversation from a negative one to a positive one before it’s too late.
Rephrase it – Instead of bringing up things that may not be 100% real or hurtful, make suggestions replacing the negative words into positive ones. If someone says you come on too strongly in a meeting, you can say that you are passionate. If someone says you are stubborn you can say you are determined to make sure that we all succeed.
Restate it – Make them say what they said again in a different way. It is great to give the other party the ability to reform their sentence and say it more politely. Ask them their question again in another more polite way so that they may repeat it. Ask them if there is another way to say that or ask them if they mean what they say. Encourage that person to reconsider their thoughts and give them a chance to change what their original statement.
Reorganize it – Understand the priorities of the conversation and focus on the progress. Maybe you can determine what you agree to agree, and be clear on what you disagree. If you are trying to do something your way, maybe there is a way to compromise and see it their way. Maybe a mixture of the suggestions will give you a better results. Make it okay to test new approaches and then measure the results. In order for a team to win, everyone needs to participate.
Request it – Make sure you ask as many questions as possible to clarify suggestions. What are their intentions? What is the sensible approach? What are their perceptions? Can you ask them to clarify their approach?
Rebalance it – Be clear on your boundaries and let the other person know that you don’t appreciate other people undermining your work. They are looking to exert power over you, and you are looking to resist and reclaim your power. Validate their feelings, but also make them understand your approach and give them proof that your approach has worked in the past.
Revisit it – It is always a good idea to take a break and approach the event at a new time or a new date to give you and the other person time to recharge and reevaluate the options. Maybe they left something out? Maybe they didn’t understand your angle fully? Maybe they would be more willing to budge at a later day? If all else fails, try to reschedule and have an agenda ahead of time to keep everyone’s eyes on the prize.
Reframe it – Debating thoughts is a healthy thing to do, as it helps come up with a more solid answer. Instead of coming up fighting, understand their perspective but come up with an approach that works for everyone and the business at hand.
What are some useful rebuttals that you use in confrontational situations? How do you handle opposition at work?
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