Professional People Skills: Find Solutions, Not Fault
Finding fault stops progress; finding solutions ignites success. I posted that on Twitter and many re-tweeted it. Some sent replies and this one caught my eye:
How do you deal with chronic fault finders?
Dealing with chronic fault finders can demoralize a team. In Dr. Robert Sutton’s book Good Boss, Bad Boss he notes: “Teams with downers produce 40-60% less than teams without them.”
That rang true to me. When I am around chronic fault finders, I feel like I am pushing a truck up a hill without a motor.
Conversely, when I am around people who focus on finding solutions, their professional people skills, energy, and ideas are uplifting. It’s a heavenly duo of optimism and realism.
Professional People Skills: Dealing w/ Chronic Fault Finders
So what professional people skills approach would you use to deal with chronic fault finders?
- Are they aware that they come across as negative? You might think this is a ridiculous question yet many people never think about how they appear to others. Ask them for their ideas and solutions. If someone is going to change their behavior, first they must see their behavior for what it is to others.
- Use the power of the written “what if”. Ask them: “What if we each write down some possible solutions and then share them?” By going to the written form, you create a spotlight for the positive. The chronic fault finders will see their behavior more clearly if they have suddenly have nothing to share.
- If the fault finding continues, ask them “What does fault finding mean to you or do for you?” It asks without accusing. If they are finding fault with ideas without offering new ones, they are resisting change. If they are finding fault with people, it generally shows their fear or insecurity. In either case, communication about finding fault can get them to move past it.
- Spot their personality type. Driver types are so focused on the end result they assume that others are too. They skip telling you the positive aspects of your idea to reach success more quickly. If you are not a driver personality type, you may see this as negativity and finding fault. Let the driver personality type know that looking at the positives and negatives helps you reach the end result.
- Take what is valuable. Set limits on the rest. If they are highlighting the risks or flaws in an idea, use their comments to make things better. If they are attacking you personally, set limits appropriately. “I treat people with respect. I ask the same in return.” This is a professional people skills response to inappropriate behavior.
- Leave it behind. There are times in your personal and work life where you may choose to walk (not run) away from a chronic fault finder. It is a viable choice when done with prior thought and awareness. Being around positive people can change your life.
Picture a team of inventors. They look at each failed attempt as a positive step toward creating a great result. They don’t point fingers at who suggested it and spend time blaming. They are alive with energy and ideas to reach a solution.
Chronic fault finding comes from fear, selfishness, and low emotional intelligence. When you face that negativity, your self-confidence, optimism, and emotional intelligence rise about it and enable a professional people skills response.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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