Last week we examined how to distance ourselves from defensiveness, this week we explore the strategy of asking questions, a technique called negative inquiry.
Ask Questions; Negative Inquiry
This can be scary at first but it does get much easier with practice. Ask questions to better understand what the person means. This will not only serve to expose unwarranted and malicious criticism but, if it is warranted, give you a much better idea as to what specifically you did which caused offense, difficulty or problems.
In the moment it can be hard to think of the right questions to ask so here are the best questions to draw out more specifics from the person who has criticized you: