We all have learnt in our childhood about "Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you". But in my years of experience in the corporate world, this does not hold too much of ground. Specially in highly political organizations, when people say something to you but is retold in a very different light to other people.
So what do we do in such situations ? Do we fight back ? Hold a grudge ? Quit ? Let me tell you this, none of the above works. the harm done is always on you and no one else.
I have burrnt my fingers several times and I can tell you this. The best way to tackle such situations is to have some responses ready for such situations so that the offender thinks twice next time .
So, here goes ....
- When your efforts are undermined : This is a very common situation and can be very upsetting. Instead of frontal attack or sulking, the best way is to state firmly what your contribution has been and say "Fortunately, I’m not easily offended, especially by one-off situations like this ”.
- When someone sparks a disagreement or says something offensive: In such situations, give a chance to the other person by saying "Did you mean what I think I heard ?" An intelligent person will alter his/her course.
- When you are stuck in an argument with someone with whom you have had positive interactions before : Well, sometimes this does happen. And before things become more unpleasant, you can intervene by saying "We have a good track record working together. No reason to change that now.”
- When you think you have reached a dead end : You can restart the conversation by saying "I am committed to make this work for both of us" or “Can we take a timeout? Perhaps we could discuss some ground rules for this negotiation?”
- When improper words are spoken : Offensive words really puts me off. And I am sure same goes for most of the people. In such situations, we should reframe the words in such a way so that the offender realizes his action For example, if he says "I really don't want to fight with you ! You just cannot comprehend what I am saying. Leave it !" You can say that “This is a debate, certainly not a fight. And you’re a good debater, as I recall."
- When the conversation becomes too loud and offensive : Sometimes it is a good way to take the offense on yourself and say “I’m getting loud and aggressive. I’m sorry. I don’t want this to be a competition." or “I don’t like where this is going. I’m guessing you don’t either. Can we try a different track?”
- When someone accuses you of being too aggressive : If you feel that you are on the wrong, then you can say the lines mentioned in the above point. But if you feel that it is a way to put you down or shut you up, you can say "I am not loud but I am passionate about this " or " When something is as important as this, I am very determined to put up my point". And I am sure there will be silence there after .
- When things are moved very fast : This induces panic and threat. Slow it down by saying "Can we go a bit slow please ? Can I pause for a moment and point out what we both agree on? " or "Lets take a break and come back with a cool mind"
Hope this helps !