Find Mediators Near You:

I Would Never …

Conflict Management Blog by Cinnie Noble

The other day a coaching client told me that she became angry at a man she works with who criticized how she managed a situation. She said he went on to “use himself as a model human being” by claiming he would never do what my client did. For my client, this added “insult to injury” and it offended her more than her co-worker’s criticism.

In our coaching session my client explained that she finds this sort of “righteous” statement sets up a dynamic she wants to change because whenever she encounters this attitude she retaliates with argumentative and defensive reactions. Essentially then, my client’s coaching goal is to better understand her reaction so that she doesn’t lose her temper and responds in more productive ways.

If you have reacted defensively when you feel you are being admonished or criticized and the person says something like “I would never…”, or “If it were me…”, etc., here are some questions to consider:

  • What was the specific situation about?
  • What did you specifically say or do that resulted in the other person saying “I would never…”, or “if it were me…” (or whatever comparative statement that triggered a reaction in you)?
  • If you felt defensive, what were you defending? How would you otherwise describe the impact on you?
  • What was the truth in the other person’s admonishment?
  • What was actually valid about her or his criticism?
  • What was not true, in your opinion, of what she or he criticized you for? What was not resonant for you in her or his “I would never…” etc. remark that upset you most?
  • How did you respond to the other person?
  • How would you have preferred to respond? What stopped you, do you think?
  • What request might the other person have made instead of the criticism/admonishment (and “I would never…” comment) that you would have received better?
  • What conflict masterful way might you react when others trigger you, in the future, with statements such as “If it were me I would never…”?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

Exemplifications of Typical Topics: Mediator as a Playwright (Part I)

Exemplifications of Typical Topics: Mediator as a Playwright (Part I) There are certain reoccurring themes, which frequently surface and resurface during the conversations, taking place during mediation meet-ups. These themes...

By Milan Slama
Category

ADA Mediation Page Editorial (Summer 2001)

This summer's ADA Mediation Page offerings show us - through old and new writings -- how dramatically the field has evolved since the EEOC pilot project in 1991 and even...

By Judith Cohen
Category

Using Neuroscience to Understand Stress and Improve Mediation

People involved in conflict generally, and in mediation specifically, encounter many events that initiate the physiologic stress response. What is this response and what triggers it? How does the stress...

By Jill Tanz
×