How to look confident while responding to critics and nosy people

How do you respond to negative feedback, criticism, and nosy people? Most of us, and most times, we want to tell them where to go. Although, it's a bit tougher when it's your boss, coworker, customer, relative or a friend. So we resort to biting our tongue, ignoring them, or changing the subject.

Not anymore!

In this blog, we’ll cover 3 areas of communication that will help you look confident when responding to the uncomfortable or awkward conversations.

  1. How to prepare your mind for difficult conversations with those in your life
  2. Restore your power when face to face with negative feedback 
  3. Critical responses to overcome obstacles and boost your confidence

How to prepare your mind for difficult conversations

  1. Keep yourself from allowing past experiences to predict how the conversation will go.

    People change every moment—even slightly—and learn something new within those moments. Realistically, we can’t expect the same conversation to go in the same direction every time. But be aware of what triggers our past experience. If we can identify that trigger, that awareness helps us to change the direction of the conversation.
  2. Don’t predict the future outcome by assuming how the conversation will go.

    This is how we allow the negative thoughts to create a story that isn’t true. Assumptions are a conversation killers. So you need to ask yourself if this thought is fabricated, or is it true.

  3. Practice being present in that moment, and take the approach of solving.

    When we’re focused on solving a problem, emotion sits on the back burner, and logic kicks in. This allows you to look at the underlying issue and resolve that, instead of dealing with emotions that hijack the conversation. We love to solve problems, it gives us this power and confidence that we’re contributing, and are important in this equation.

Being in this frame of mind helps us to remain calm and focused. And when our mind and body language are more inviting and engaging, the other person becomes relaxed and receptive.

Restoring your power when face to face with negative feedback.

In that moment when someone complains to us, especially directly in front of us, the first thoughts are of a defensive nature. Even if our words indicate we want to help, our body language will communicate otherwise. We have to change our perception of what feedback is.

When someone provides negative feedback this is a sign that they noticed something isn’t working. They have the expectation or belief that this should go one way, and it didn’t. What they want YOU to do, is acknowledge that their beliefs are important, and you’ll do something about it, because of them. 

When we’re face to face with a situation like this, the person is emotionally charged and sometimes can be a bit hostile. To disarm them, we need to know what their expectations were before they became dissatisfied. This is very powerful, since it shows that you’re interested in their perspective and beliefs, and want to understand them.

People need to feel listened to and important. The reason why people make more noise, is because they’re not experiencing this feeling.

Now, understanding them doesn’t mean agreeing with them. But within that dissatisfaction or expectation, we can discover something that we aren’t seeing and use that information to better our communication with customers, or people in our life.

If you’re feeling challenged to be open to criticism, ask yourself:

What’s getting in my way that doesn’t allow me to see this possibility? 

Many times we take feedback personally, when we shouldn’t.

There's great value in receiving feedback. Many won’t say anything when dissatisfied and will walk away and tell others instead of the person who can correct the situation. We’re left with pondering why we’re experiencing this friction in our life.

Create a space were feedback is appreciated. When they learn that you’re receptive they’ll be more civilized in the conversation.

Crucial responses that'll overcome obstacles and boost confidence.

When receiving feedback simply responding with “Thank you, I appreciate your honesty.” will make the other person comfortable providing it. If we respond with a defensive answer or body language, they’ll be less willing to help the next time.

Feedback comes loaded with the other person’s experience, fears, and beliefs. This doesn’t mean this information will be valuable, but it’ll get us thinking, and decide if we can use it, or discard it.

When someone is too nosy, be open with them about protecting your privacy. Here’s a few responses you can use:

“I would like to keep that to myself for now, thank you for your concern.” 

“Down the road I may want your feedback, but for now I have a few things to figure out for myself.” 

“If I was to answer that question, what would you do with that information?” 

“I love your curiosity! What is it about this that concerns you?”

When someone is rude to you, ask them:

“How would you like me to respond to that?” 

“What is it that you hope to gain from that comment?”

Before I finish, I want to offer you one last tip for showing your confidence through communication. It’s how to respond to compliments.

Many have this habit of not allowing ourselves the luxury of receiving a genuine compliment, and end up responding with something like: “oh, this old thing,”or “It was really nothing,” or “I can’t take credit for that.”

When we discount the compliment we communicate to the giver that they have bad judgment. That they got it wrong, or that they have no taste. We do this because we’re sympathetic to other people’s fears. We downplay our success so others will feel good about themselves. This is a habit we’ve held onto over the years.

Instead we should be proud of our success and feel good about it! So get in the habit of starting with a smile and simply saying, “thank you, I appreciate your compliment.”

Thanks for reading my blog! Please leave a comment or share this with others who would find it useful. And by the way, if you haven't already, I'd love to keep in touch! So please subscribe and I'll be sure to send you some more valuable info a couple of times a month. Have a good one!

#communicationskills #feedback #respondwithconfidence #difficultconversations

How can Success Coaching assist you with your goals?

Christine Hourd,  Associate Certified Coach and owner of The Success Model, works with clients to help them reach their goals more rapidly. By improving how they communicate with themselves and others they more easily remove the roadblocks that impede success in their personal and professional life. Book an appointment to discuss how success coaching can benefit you. 

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