Strategy #2 Dealing with Unacceptable Character in Others

When others demonstrate unacceptable character there are many ways to address it. Last week the idea of using questions rather than declarations when addressing such issues was presented. This week we will explore another idea that can easily be practiced to promote change.

“When you_______________ (Fill in the blank with ONLY the behavior expressed by the other.)
I feel _____________________ (Fill in the blank with ONLY your feelings about their behavior.)
I would like you to _____________________________.” (Fill in the blank with a behavior you would like to see.)

That looks something like:

“When you do not pick up your clothes I feel disrespected, I would like you to put your dirty clothes in the clothes hamper.

*It is important to pay attention to the “I feel” portion of the statement.

An unskilled communicator may say something like, “When you do not pick up your clothes I feel like you think it is my job to pick up after you.”

The communicator is assigning a judgement to the other’s behavior rather than to simply say that he is not pleased with it. Judgements not only prevent change for the better but hinders issues from being resolved.

Think about the criticism you’d like to send to another and plug it into this model. Expect results!

Until next week…have a great Thanksgiving! Which brings me to a bonus point. Express gratitude and thankfulness to others, every chance you get. When people are acknowledged for the good things they do it is easier for them to accept a negative criticism.


Dr. Terry

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