Imagine this: You send a super important deck around and one of the really difficult colleagues sends you a reply going: “I went through your deck and have some ideas for improvement. Let’s meet at 3pm”. Yikes. Right?
Imagine another scenario now: You send around the same super important deck and you favourite work friend sends you an email going: “I went through your deck and have some ideas. Let’s have a coffee and talk about it later?”
You probably feel quite relaxed and actually are kind of grateful for such a good friend at work who makes the effort to work through your stuff and give you feedback. You are probably looking forward to having a coffee and chat with him or her.
The thing is, depending on your mood, these meetings will likely go very differently. In the first scenario you get into a meeting with an adversary and are probably a little anxious, maybe defensive and definitely not in a good mood. Who likes loads of criticism, right?
The second meeting will probably be a pleasant chat where you throw around ideas, have a laugh and create an even better end result. This is the outcome you want and this is what you should aim for. So next time someone sends you a mail proposing a tough meeting – imagine he is your friend and genuinely wants to help you. Treat that person that way – bring a coffee, listen to his or her opinions and try to engage in a positive discussion. Even if that colleague is not your friend yet – by listening in a positive manner you might just make one!