We all like to be right. Some like it for the sake of being right as others like to just make a point. When you are on a job interview or perhaps when you are presenting to a client, you may not always see eye to eye. It’s okay to disagree because guess what, despite what you may have heard, the client isn’t ALWAYS right. It may be hard to put yourself in a position where you have to argue your case, especially if you are on a job interview, but knowing where you stand and what you stand for depends upon how secure you are in your beliefs. It might be nice to placate your client but in some cases, realizing you know best and following your instincts may be your best defense.
You may like to think you can handle just about any situation when it arises no matter how awkward it may make you feel. It’s okay to be good at juggling many tasks but do you know how to juggle your client when s/he is careening out of control? How much do you respect your position and opinion when it comes to speaking your mind? It’s not always possible to change someone else’s way of thinking, but it certainly is one thing to back down and let them continually have their way.
Knowing how to artfully handle a difficult situation whether you currently have a job or are looking for one is a skill. You might not think you have much of a choice when you find yourself locked in disagreement or worse, feeling a bit compromised during an interview or meeting. You do have a choice in knowing how to handle a difficult encounter without allowing yourself to get caught up in the politics of the situation or, allow yourself to be put to be demeaned in any way. It does take a great deal of tact and diplomacy to know when and how to push back or assert your point.
Finding an artful way to let someone you disagree with know that there might be another way to look at the situation. Learning to speak your mind in a diplomatic way whether it’s telling your client that you can think of another way to handle a situation or where you highlight some perceived challenge makes you look informed and helpful without overstepping your boundaries. It takes a lot to hold back at times when all you feel like doing is letting loose and ranting on how “wrong” someone has handled a communication, process or personal interaction.
Even if on a job interview you don’t want to get into a debate with the hiring manager or recruiter especially if it’s a job you want. But someone may say or do something that feels inappropriate or inconsistent and you feel like letting them know it in the moment. Take a pause, regroup and follow up with an email or phone call explaining your position without over-reacting in the moment. Taking a breath before you launch into a counter-argument will save not only your face but the possible repercussion of not getting what you want in the end.
You are not always going to have a love-fest at work or on the job, but knowing how and when to react to tough situations gives you time to think through your response without looking to “tell it like it is” no matter how tempting or deserving that might be!
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