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Chapter 8. Parrying the Difficult Thrust... > Dealing With Minor Back-Channel Prob... - Pg. 79

Parrying the Difficult Thrusts 79 If Paul does not behave more appropriately, then you enact the consequences. In a private meeting, if a person shows no indication he is going to behave as you have requested, don't continue. It will only get worse. Before we move on, consider that when setting limits, you need to be specific about the behavior you are unwilling to accept. Don't say, "If you don't smarten up ...," or even, "If you don't calm down ...." Name the specific behavior (for example, swearing, raised voice, personal comments). Public Attacks If you or other people are attacked publicly, your first priority is to stop the behavior as quickly as possible. Do not allow it to continue, because it will escalate. You can empathize, and quickly set a limit. If that limit isn't adhered to, you can speak to the attacking person privately, making it clear that this behavior will not continue. If you are in a meeting and the attack continues, then it may be necessary to adjourn, if that's possible, or leave, if it's a meeting you have less control of. Do not lose your cool. Do not argue. Regardless of how you handle it at the time, you need to follow up privately with the person. At that point, no doubt you will want to set limits for future behavior. Dealing With Minor Back-Channel Problems Gossip! Covert conversations held when the focus of that conversation is not present can create big problems, because this stuff creates a sense of mistrust for everyone. After all, while people enjoy talking about a person behind his or her back, they also wonder what people say about them when they aren't around.