This is done primarily through the technique of questioning and paraphrasing, previously addressed on this website, but provided now in more detail.
At the simplest level, you can force clarification by using simple, brief, direct statements. ” Or declare your confusion, which should encourage him to speak more clearly.
” “All I know is that the situation today is ____.” (Then ask a question.) A particularly effective method for sidestepping a bully’s diversions is to assertively move the meeting forward. ” “Let’s not keep rehashing the past and guessing about the future. ” “I know we all want to move on to the next topic, but we haven’t come up with any solutions for ___. ” Or if the bully is the only one who has offered a solution: “I’ve heard ___’s solution, but what about everyone else? “___’s solution may be the way to go on this, but shouldn’t we consider some other options before making a decision?
He might say: “If you really cared about the company, you would ___.” This implies that you don’t care about the company.
You can respond forcefully by bringing the hidden premise into the open.
At a meeting, wait until everyone, especially the bully, is paying attention.
You could say: “Excuse me, but there’s something I want to clear up.” Then try to get to his meaning. Your goal is to bring his criticism or demeaning implication into plain view. For example, you say: “A minute ago, you mentioned I left early last Tuesday.
Calm persuasion isn’t as dramatic as exposing a bully’s flaws, and it doesn’t give you the adrenalin rush of revenge, but in the end it’s a much better option.