Sometimes You Should talk, sometimes you should……….

News flash: people violate expectations, break commitments and sometimes carry bad behaviour. Some of those people are your children, workmates, spouses or church members.

I know you care about them but in the past, your solutions haven’t given you the results you were hoping for. For some, you have found yourself discussing the same issue. And for others, you are increasingly getting upset. In the next lines, I will seek to offer one of the helpful tools that have helped me for years to determine which conversation to hold and if I should hold it anyway.

When I was younger I “spoke my mind”; if you offended me or impressed me you would get to know it in real-time. As I have grown, compliments are still given on the spot but confrontations are given on the “spot”

Once upon a time, I worked at Leather Industries as the Marketing and Sales Manager. This meant that I led a team through good and bad times. One of the guys of my team was Peter (not real names) Peter was soft-spoken, determined and was a star performer. But he was relentless in violating expectations and carrying bad behaviour.

Boss I am so sorry. I will make sure it doesn’t happen again”, he once told me referring to a wrong quote that he had sent to a prospective client without consulting me. Peter was also passively disruptive. We would agree on something with the entire team and after the meeting, he would rally troops highlighting how I was wrong…

During that time I came across a tool called CPR( Content Pattern Relationship) This is how I used it on Peter:

The first time misconduct occurred after I had known about CPR, I talked about the CONTENT
One day after a meeting to break into new international markets for leather he rallied troops again to discredit the direction. I brought him to my office and said, “We agreed as a team to break into Turkey and China markets but you went around me to discredit the decision. What you have done embarrasses me and discredits the entire team……

This dude continued with the bad behaviour, so I addressed the PATTERN “Peter this is the second time you are going around my back to discredit what we agreed on as a Team. You promised it wouldn’t happen again. I am concerned that I can’t count on you to keep a promise”

The lovely human being couldn’t stop himself from this bad behaviour. So the next time I called him in office over the same thing, I addressed the RELATIONSHIP Peter this is beginning to put a strain on how we work together. I feel as if I have to nag you to keep you in line and I don’t like doing that. I guess my dear is that I can’t trust you to keep the agreements we make”

After thirteen months on the team and over a dozen lapses in basic behaviour, I recommended that Peter be fired which was done immediately. Peter was disloyal but he taught me to stay objective when wronged and choose my conversations with wisdom.

What happened to me above is best echoed by the words of the Former American politician and retired four-star general in the United States Army Colin Powell when he said that, “When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision is made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.”

Use CPR to choose your conversations wisely.

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