Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adopting the Posture of a Supplicant to Disarm a Superior When You Have to Say something very Disagreeable or Unpalatable

If you are a “Downton Abbey” aficionado, you’ll probably recognize the scene in the video clip below which is from Episode 3, first aired in January 2013.  It occurs when Lord Grantham is told that his wealth has evaporated, thanks to a big investment having gone south.

Notice that just as the bearer of ill tidings (i.e., the person in whose office this meeting is taking place) is about to say that it is Lord Grantham himself who is to blame for that lousy investment decision, he suddenly becomes extremely disarming and apologetic by radically changing his sitting posture and lowering his voice--he assumes the posture of a supplicant, just the thing to do when you are telling your boss that it is he (or she) who screwed up!

Bottom line: When you need to disarm someone and minimize any offense, in addition to using verbal techniques (such as those discussed in my seminars and mentioned in some of the previous posts on disarming), this “physical” or nonverbal, posture-transforming, technique can be a big help, especially when you have to tell your superior face-to-face that he or she is/was wrong!
© Copyright 2014  V. J. Singal

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