A Critical People Skills Moment to Handle With Ease | #PeopleSkills

Professional relationships take time to develop and along the way they go through a few ups and downs. There is one critical people skills moment to handle with ease right from the start. When you do it at the outset with co-workers & customers, it minimizes the ups and downs.

Critical People Skills Moment: Image is 3 faces.

Critical People Skills Moment to Handle With Ease Image via Istock.

Image by: Istock.

A Critical People Skills Moment to Handle With Ease

When others ask you to change a behavior that rubs them the wrong way, what is your response? They will remember how you reply to this critical people skills moment.

Do you …

  1. Give a list of reasons why you do it?

  2. Ask them to explain why it bothers them?

  3. Suggest that they are being demanding, irrational, unprofessional, or childish for asking?

  4. Take offense and avoid these people whenever possible?

  5. Stop doing it?

The first four answers to this critical people skills moment come from the ego. If you interpret the request as a threat or feel embarrassed, your ego may react and defend. Yet you will appear emotionally immature and selfish. You will create obstacles to future interaction that can linger a long time. This blocks trust and productive teamwork.

If instead you choose #5, you show a caring maturity that sets you up as a great teammate and a leader. The reply, thanks for telling me — of course I won’t do it again, infuses the relationship with energy and respect.

The ease of handling this critical people skills moment comes from the courage and confidence to handle it from the heart without fear of looking weak. From the heart never fails.

To this end, I have been doing a special pet peeve exercise for years with new and existing teams. Participants continue to rate this in the top 5 most valuable moments in the team building workshops. It gets people asking for what they need and comfortable giving what others need. This is so important for high performance teams. Preventing simple strife over annoying behaviors empowers teams to address the important issues sooner and more easily.

So, what will be your answer the next time someone says, please don’t …. ? In a split second, you can sink into defensiveness or shine by caring for those around you with outstanding people skills.

What choice will you make at this critical people skills moment and what will it say about you?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
21 Reasons Teammates Can’t Automatically Get Along
Teamwork Persona: Are You Someone Others Want to Work With?

©2012-2017 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 info@katenasser.com 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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15 Responses to “A Critical People Skills Moment to Handle With Ease | #PeopleSkills”

  1. Kimb Manson says:

    Good read for this Monday morning my Friend. I always respect the “please don’t” moment and quite often just leave it alone and respect others wishes. However my list of “Please Don’ts” to others is growing, and as a vendor, a service provider, it is really hard not to post a list of “Please Don’ts” in my email responses. Wish everyone would read this article and start thinking about how their actions/habits/attitude does effect others 🙂

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Great insight on both sides Kimb. I like the idea of “leave it alone and respect others”. Why antagonize by repeating the same bad behavior and risk being seen as a selfish lout?

      And then on the flip side, we can all do well to take a minute and think about how are actions impact others. Develops emotional intelligence!

      Thanks for your comment,

  2. Khalid says:

    Great advice Kate.

    It’s very important to sense the water before diving!

    It’s noticeable in team formation (specifically in team storming stage)

    Now what completes the cycle of understanding each other (specially in marriage) is to know why that was the case. If someone says please don’t then understanding the reason behind it is important to ease integration for future similar events. It’s not easy as people might not disclose sensitive information about themselves but as time pass such things will be revealed as trust level goes higher.

    Thanks Kate for the enlightment 🙂


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Khalid,
      I love the “timing” you bring to this discussion. It does help to understand why yet it can be seen as combative and disrespectful to ask why at the moment. Let time illuminate the reasons why as people get more comfortable through the initial respect shown.

      You underscored and expanded the conversation at the same time — many thanks.


  3. It takes an evolved and unselfish mind to follow this approach Kate but if one is capable and willing, the benefits will be quickly realized and long-lasting.

    Those who choose the defensive position will see their growth as humans stunted, which they might be perfectly o.k. with but they will be less respected and fail to advance to their potential and find a greater peace and happiness.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      So very true — it may feel good to stay in the defensive position yet in the end those who do it are far less respected. There really is no where to hide.

      Thank you for weighing in on this.

  4. Jocelyn Ring says:

    Thank you for this wonderful article, Kate! (Assertive) communication, respect and boundaries can make such a difference in relationships and organizations. I am hopeful that more people will understand the enormous value of these “soft skills” and E.Q. and that we will see them enmeshed in corporate cultures. The positive impact would be enormous.

  5. Lei says:

    Hi Kate

    If someone asks me to stop, for the sake of someones sanity, I stop….If it will make them happy, I stop. 🙂
    I asked a friend of mine to stop doing whatever she was doing at the time, she said “no, she would do it even more, because I asked her to stop” I couldn’t believe it. Not even just to appease me.

    Anyway, I loved your article. And would like to get some coaching or advise about my job. 🙂 Are you ever coming to Phoenix?

  6. gary gruber says:

    Feedback that points out a lack of awareness might be among the most useful information we can receive, especially if we’re willing to change a behavior that could be annoying to others. How to give the feedback to another whose behavior may be annoying you is a different matter and requires some political strategy. It’s better to rehearse a little bit, maybe even do a role play with a coach, to practice how best to approach a colleague, team leader or even a friend. I think it was Annie Liebowitz who said, “letting it all hang out is just about as attractive as it sounds.”
    Some people may need a little more tact and diplomacy when engaging in a touchy, tense or at the worst, a hostile situation.

  7. Erika says:

    I disagree to some extent. My daughter recently got feedback that was “sexual harassment” disguised as helpful feedback. A man critiqued her green, long sleeved tee shirt dress as being sexually revealing. (It looks modest enough to me.) He claimed it was see-through and that she should wear shorts under her dress. She was very embarrassed and hurt and fortunately will avoid him in the future.

    My point is that not everyone means to be helpful and kind- some people just want to feel superior by bringing others down and it’s important that you be able to spot them so that your self-confidence is not eroded – hurtful comment by hurtful comment.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Erika,
      Your example is a good one because it highlights people’s intrusive feedback. The post I wrote here was about behavior that was annoying someone else in the workplace not random intrusive subjective feedback on how someone else dresses .. in this case your daughter. This man’s remark was totally inappropriate. In fact, it is a good example of HIS bad behavior that someone should suggest he stop doing!

      Thank you for your example.

  8. Kristina says:

    Kate – I absolutely LOVE everything about this article! It’s not often I say that. It is simple, concise, and yet covers everything necessary. If this advice is taken, it can be SO effective… both personally and professionally.
    I’m thinking of using your “Pet Peeves” exercise with a current client facing some challenges.
    Thanks for the refreshing approach,


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