Effective Communication

It doesn’t matter if you were right, but how you made them feel

May 9, 2022
min read

How often does this thought pop into your head after an argument or giving someone critical feedback:

“I know I’ve upset them, but I was right!”

You see, it doesn’t matter if you were right. All that matters is how they felt as a result of your conversation. Those feelings will ultimately dictate whether that person takes constructive action or not. If you made them feel miserable, they likely won’t. If they felt cared for and supported, they will want to reciprocate the same by changing their behaviour.

A quote to keep in mind

“A high degree of empathy in a relationship is one of the most potent factors in bringing about change and learning.”

― Carl Rogers, humanistic psychologist

How to let go of "but I was right"

Before entering a difficult discussion, try to formulate in your mind the outcome that you’d like to achieve – is it just to get things off your chest, or do you actually want something to change?

Then think backwards:

💡 If I want this outcome, what behaviours would I want to encourage as a result of this discussion?

💡 If I want those behaviours, how do I need to make the person feel?

💡 If I want to make them feel that way, what do I need to say?

Author Portrait
Written by
Mica Vaipan

Performance & wellbeing coach, entrepreneur. Formerly startup founder, tech startup COO and investment banker.

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