Tuesday, 28 August 2007
Have a look here for a great discussion on "The gratuitous insult - How do you respond?"
The author raises a situation where he asks for an explanation and gets the surprising response "“If you don't understand what I mean, then that is probably your problem.”
Enough to take anyone aback.
The question has elicited 90+ responses so far with differing approaches.
Many people say ignore it, or walk away. Some look at reframing or feedback, others would adopt a more directly challenging stance.
More than one respondent suggests a hug.
My response is in the mid nineties... and is set out below
My Conversational Riffs material approaches any dialogue like a blues or jazz guitar solo. Sure, we can stick with the same old easy riffs we all know so well, the tedium of attack, defend and counter attack. That is the Status Quo and it neither interests us, nor serves us very well.
Instead, what we need is a whole repertoire of tiny riffs which we can improvise at any time to take conversations in whole new directions.
So, your colleague makes this comment - probably a defensive comment on his part following a mis-perception that you have just attacked his communication skills - and then counter attacks you in such spectacular fashion.
You can respond as expected above or throw in a new riff. Change direction. Improvise. Create a new dialogue. Try an encouragement, acknowledgment, agreement or invitation riff.. any of these will break the cycle that this conversation looks as though it is about to embark upon. Who knows what meaning and understanding you might create!