The art of correcting other people is one of being in control and maintaining a right balance. When you are correcting a person’s wrongful statement, action, or completed work, you need to be in tune with all the emotional factors at play. Know that people intrinsically do not like being corrected. This dislike for being corrected is the first emotion which you need to manage in the other party.
The Jagged Edges of Your Correction
When correcting people, minimize any jagged edges of your correction which their emotion may attach to. Make sure you always have in mind the final goals that they tried to reach while using incorrect methods. Make sure to make the connection between the end-goal not being met and the methods which they used to meet it.
Your act of correcting somebody contains these jagged edges when you include baseless/useless remarks in the process of correcting and guiding their behavior. Statements like, “…at least you tried,” or, “I shouldn’t have assigned this task to you,” are considered jagged edges. These statements are useless in their efforts to mitigate behavior, and perhaps detrimental to your mission of getting the correct actions out of somebody.
Call Out the Good
Always encourage good ideas, and when you see that the person you are correcting was on the right track for a portion of their actions, make it known. Dissect their actions utilizing the most unemotional method which you are capable of. In no way should your emotion or unfiltered negative reactions ever play a part in correcting someone. This is a vulnerable time to which the people you are correcting can react in a variety of ways.
Calling out the good aspects makes you a believable teacher. Not everything the person who you are correcting does, did, or will do, is bad. There have to be good aspects to the work they’ve put in, and it is important to recognize the positive efforts they’ve invested in the work they did.
Get it Over With Quickly
When it comes time to educate the person on discreet items which they were incorrect on, get it over with quickly. Blatantly state which aspects were incorrect and how you know they were incorrect. Ensure that your method of explanation is delivered in an educative tone rather than being dictated. This sting will hurt your listener, which is why you need to get it over with quickly. You should not dwell on their act of being wrong, but rather focus on their journey toward becoming right.
Call out their wrongs quickly, and move forward with the plan to correct their actions or work. Control the emotional response of the person you are trying to correct in all aspects of the interaction, and do not internally rank them as any lesser than yourself for making these mistakes.
Practice viewing mistakes as opportunities for growth, for both yourself and the person who made the mistake. Control your own emotions upon the discovery of their mistake and bring it up in a subtle, unassuming way.