Monday, March 21, 2011

What we can learn about communication from home renovation shows

I really enjoy watching real estate shows, home renovation and interior design shows. Not only is it a helpful education, I am discovering that I am reminded about communication in many ways. Today while watching a home renovation show I witnessed a great example of what I encourage my workshop attendees to avoid – the double edged applause.

On the show, a mother was thanking her son for the DIY renovation work he was able to complete. The statement went something like this:
“I am really proud of him.” Then she added “But it took FOREVER to complete it.”

This is an example of the double edged applause- a very heartfelt compliment that is chopped off by a sarcastic comment or critical remark.

In workplaces these types of compliments are equally as disastrous. The best way to avoid giving double edged applause is to:

• Ask yourself this question- “do I want to be on the receiving end of what I am about to say?” If your answer is “no”, then reframe the statement,
• Thank the person sincerely, without disclaimers or comments that eliminate the recognition,
• Be specific!

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