First, get rid of the idea that the other person is doing this to attack you. Most likely it has nothing to do with you, but instead is driven by their own fear. So instead, try to think about what they might be so scared of losing that they would fight to protect it.

Apply Outcome Thinking® and try to think about the situation from the other person’s perspective. Why may they not feel safe telling you up front what they’re really thinking? Your job is to make it a safe environment for them to share their thoughts with you.

If the person is a Connector, this means you need to reassure them that you would like to hear their true thoughts even if they feel they are ones you might not want to hear right now. It also means you cannot blow up or get angry on the spot. Either of those reactions will immediately shut a Connector down.

If the person is actually being devious (and you would know this because what they are saying behind your back is malicious), you need to address them with what you heard. Make sure that you do it in a straightforward manner, sticking only with the facts, and that you do not jeopardize anyone that confided in you.

The discussion may go something like this: Jane, when you and I met on Friday, we agreed that all account information would be put into the database. I am now hearing that you feel that putting that information in is ridiculous and that you have no intention of doing it. I wanted to talk directly with you so we could sort this out and make sure that we are in agreement. Jane, I will always do you the courtesy of speaking directly to you, and I expect the same from you. So let’s talk this through.” At that point keep your mouth shut and let the other person talk so you can find out the reasoning behind what they are saying. By adding the line that you will “always give the courtesy of speaking directly” with Jane, and that you expect the same in return, it lets her know you will not tolerate her going behind your back.

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