One way is to create the perception of a common goal. This is where choosing the right words helps. It’s using a cooperative vocabulary. Instead of saying, “Unless you get moving fast on those statistics, I’m not going to be able to get this report done on time,” try emphasizing the common goal: “We could get our report done quickly if you firm up the statistical data while I enter the text.” Use words like we and our.
The second way is to show how a peer’s performance affects both of you. So instead of saying, “Get to the meeting on time,” try something like, “Look, when you’re late, it makes you look bad, it makes me look bad, and we don’t get the next project. If we’re both on time, we do.” Now you’ve made a permissible criticism. You’re saying, it is my business, because it affects my job.
A third tactic is to agree with the coworker, but point out that somebody else higher up would disagree. You say something like, “You know, I used to do it this way because it’s easier. But when Jack finds out about this, he’s going to make you do it over.” Now you’ve aligned yourself with the person. v
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