Custom Search

Dealing with defensive behaviors

by James
(San Antonio, TX)

Touchy people are incredibly difficult to communicate with. As her boss, I am up against a wall with one particular employee who seems to turn off when I needed to give her corrective feedback.

I am a good leader. And I like to think I am a reasonable guy, easy to approach.

I get a little progress when I enter the conversation with clear openings about the fact that I need to tell her something. But it seems to come back to the same finish - she blurts something defensive out and I cannot get past the real feedback that I need to give her.

Any help appreciated.

Comments for Dealing with defensive behaviors

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 03, 2009
defensive behaviors
by: Chris


as a leader, there is coaching, understanding and then there is "tough love". What I mean is, I think you are at the point of sitting down, one to one, not behind your desk but beside the persone and get it out:

Challenge his/her attitude, dig deeper, understand, but remember: people are watching you manage the behavior, it doesn't mean you must give in to avoid outbursts, you must use empathetic discipline.

Montreal, Canada

Mar 13, 2009
Keep feedback coming
by: Diane

Hi James - I have found that the best way to deal with defensive behaviors is to constantly give the person feedback. Don't be swayed by emotional outbursts. Instead, do what you have to do to deliver the message and get her to engage.

Sooner or later, she will realize that her emotional reactions are not making a difference. (Maybe later ... but what is your choice anyway?)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Dilemma.

Visit other Site

Black Skirt  
The (insane) state of
Women in Leadership today

Want to Write More?
Write more!

30 Articles in 30 Days

I hate tweating but ....
Follow me


listen to smallbiz america icon
 Listen to my interview
on Smallbiz America

Free Leadership Tips

Get the Leadership Tip

Simple - Brief - Efficient

"5 Ways To Create a Motivational Workplace"

when you sign up!

motivated brain

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.

I promise to use it only to send you
One Leadership Tip
email each month

Site Functions