All positions of leadership require that dreadful moment when you must confront someone in order to bring correction. Parent, Teacher, CEO, Volunteer Leader, or Manager, “correction” is vital to maintaining a healthy, thriving environment. Being one who reads instructions, I couldn’t help but notice how the instructions for “correction fluid” contain some valuable application for leaders.
So here are “6 Tips to Super Smooth Correction”, thanks to my handy-dandy “Wite Out Correction Fluid!”
1) “Shake Well Before Use”
What this means is to make sure you shake off all of your junk before you attempt to correct anybody. If you don’t “shake well before use” you may notice old grudges, hurts, or negative experiences influencing your correction style & methods. So make it a habit before each needed correction to stand up and give yourself the ol’ wiggle n’ shake! You know the one you did in jr. high P.E. where you have to wiggle and shake every part of you at the same time. Doing this will physically show you what’s needed in your heart, and may bring a smile to your face too! (If you can’t shake it off see #3)
2) “CAUTION FLAMMABLE”
In all caps is this attention-getting warning, when you deal with correcting people it has the potential to start a fire! You may not have the intention to start trouble, but people handle confrontation differently. As I’m sure you’re aware, correction can pose a threat, and invite defensiveness. Simply being aware of potential fire damage, can shift your heart & attitude to embrace a more sympathetic, understanding nature. Nothing throws “water on the wood” better than a humble, sincere heart. Especially when it comes to the fragile art of correction.
3) “Keep Away From Fire or Flame”
Because correction is flammable, if you notice you’ve got a little flame of bitterness, a grudge, or your emotions are just too high, than it’s not time to bring correction. If the fire within cannot be put out, you may need to give yourself some time to process, have a mediator bring correction with you, or in the worst cases, have someone else do it on your behalf. Correcting with negative emotions never produces a good outcome. My wife & I can tell when one of us may be a little edgy when correcting our children, and that’s usually the cue to tag in your partner and say “I got this”.
4) “Keep Away From Children”
Correcting is definitely not for the immature. Up and coming leaders should definitely look for opportunities to watch an experienced leader handle and deal with correction. Unfortunately for those being corrected, on the job training is necessary. As a young leader I’ve definitely had my fair share of “wish I handled that better” moments. But don’t beat yourself up, as with everything, experience is the best teacher! Another thing I’ve noticed is, how you handle “being corrected” determines how you’ll dish out correction. So the next time it’s your turn to be corrected see it as an opportunity to practice receiving correction the way you wish others would. You know, it’s the whole “you reap what you sow” thing! Also try evaluating the person correcting you, better to learn from their mistakes than yours!
5) “Do Not Swallow or Inhale”
Swallowing or inhaling something, brings it on the inside of you and makes it a part of you. When correcting others don’t bring close to your heart, their immediate response or reaction. Human nature does not like being told what to do, so try lowering your expectations of other people’s reactions. The best way to not take the correction process personal, whether your on the giving or receiving end, is to bring a bucket of “grace” with you. Grace allows for our imperfections and mishaps. Go into the process ready to forgive and forget defensively spoken words.
6) “WARNING” – “Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling contents can be harmful or fatal”
Correction is necessary and to be used as needed, but using it as a tool for selfish gain or manipulation only damages relationships.If you absolutely LOVE correcting others, you’re probably going to kill off most of your relationships and harm those that remain. Spending too much time correcting or looking to correct others can become toxic to you and those around you. On the other hand, focusing on correcting yourself first, will make you better and may entirely eliminate the need to correct others!
As humans we all make mistakes that need correction, and find ourselves in positions where we’ll need to bring correction. With a few tips from the makers of “correction fluid”, let’s produce some “super smooth” corrections, and realize that the correction process doesn’t have to be a messy process.
Cheers to your Good Life!