A colleague has this habit of telling anecdotes that are by far too long. They are so long that my mind finally does not manage to stay alert. So today, after another long story ended, I said:
– I love anecdotes, but I really believe that yours would be better if they weren’t so long.
It was important to bring this issue to the surface, but unfortunately I failed! I couldn’t hide my frustration. I let the sarcastic face out! My colleague reacted unhappily and told me he appreciates me for being direct, but warns me from being this direct with our customers. They might get very annoyed.
What I think would’ve worked better:
– I have a problem with this story because I cannot relate it to the purpose of the meeting.
In this way I open a dialogue for work with the process insetad of blaming the other part. Also, there are no judgments as comes with the example’s word “better”.
I wonder what would have happened if I stopped him immediately when things began to feel bad, before I had crossed my boiling point. Perhaps he would have been more open-minded? One thing is sure, I definitely would’ve managed to give him a nicer feedback.
I believe this (long) story relates quite good to what Esther Derby wrote in this post. Don’t wait with giving feedback! Because that will probably only appear as insincerity and lack of trust.