Magazine article New Zealand Management

CONSULTATION: When Colleagues Attack

Magazine article New Zealand Management

CONSULTATION: When Colleagues Attack

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Gaunt

I have a colleague who bad-mouths me in the office. I donCOt want to make a big fuss and get our boss involved so how can I stop her?

Hmm not nice. When this happens it undermines you, but also the other person loses respect, not only from you, but others.

To handle this well, first be honest with yourself and look at what your colleague is saying and why. Is it because you are actually doing something to annoy her? If so change your behaviour.

The situation is still frustrating as your colleague is not taking responsibility and dealing with the issue by talking directly with you, but you can take responsibility for your own actions and sort it out.

However, if it is not something you are doing or it is something that you have a right to do then that is a different situation and unfair.

In this case you need the other person to change their behaviour. You should explain to them what is happening, how you feel about it, and what you want to happen.

You can use a process called a C[pounds sterling]DESCC[yen] script to resolve this.

The C[pounds sterling]DC[yen] stands for C[pounds sterling]DescribeC[yen]. That is you first need to clearly describe what is happening to the other person. For example, C[pounds sterling]Three people in the office have told me that you have some concerns about me.C[yen]

The C[pounds sterling]ECO stands for C[pounds sterling]ExpressC[yen]. The idea here is to then tell the other person clearly how you feel about this. For example, sad, angry, frustrated, upset etc. In this case you might say, C[pounds sterling]I am feeling unhappy about this.C[yen]

The C[pounds sterling]SC[yen] stands for C[pounds sterling]SpecifyC[yen]. Explain to the other person what it is that you want to happen. For example, C[pounds sterling]I would like you to talk to me directly if you have a problem and not talk to others.C[yen]

Finally the C[pounds sterling]CC[yen] stands for C[pounds sterling]ConsequencesC[yen]. This finishes your DESC script by outlining to the other person what the expected pay-off will be if they do what you are asking them to do. For example, C[pounds sterling]If you do this I am sure we will be able to sort it out and move on.C[yen]

With some careful preparation a DESC script can really help with difficult situations between people. It puts you in the driving seat rather than being the passenger. It will reduce your stress levels and is firm but treats the other person with respect by communicating clearly to them. …

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