When you get frustrated with a coworker, teammate or partner, a typical reaction is to call them out. Instead of highlighting the problems in the open — and possibly embarrassing them — use it as an opportunity to be a positive influence and help.
Picture: decoded conference/Flickr
Writer Jeff Giesea at the Harvard Business Review suggests that calling people out is a common emotional release that only seeks to prove somebody wrong. Calling them forth, however, gives you the chance to correct them in a disarming and constructive way:
That's the thing with calling people out. It often, not always, comes from a place of ego or reaction. The intent, conscious or not, is to make the other person wrong. There's also a public aspect to calling someone out, of making them lose face. The tone is adversarial. And ultimately, you're putting the burden of change entirely on the other person ("Stop it!").
Calling people forth, in contrast, comes from a place of service and an open heart. The intent is to call the person to higher ground. It builds on their strengths. The tone is collaborative. And ultimately, you're sharing the burden of getting better ("How can I help?"). It feels more like coaching than scolding.
Giesea explains that while calling someone forth just seems like positive reinforcement, it's really more of a mindset you carry with you as you seek the positive aspects of others. It's a classic win-win situation, because, with your approach, you get what you need without becoming frustrated, and others see you as someone who's approachable and willing to fight for them instead of against them. To learn more and see some examples of the differences, check out the link below.
Stop Calling People Out [Harvard Business Review]