Expressing concerns about someone’s attitude professionally involves focusing on behaviors and their impact rather than labeling the person’s character.
Here are some suggestions on how to phrase such feedback…
- Focus on Specific Behaviors – Instead of saying “You have an attitude,” specify the behavior. For example, “I’ve noticed there are times when responses to feedback can seem dismissive. It’s important to consider all perspectives to foster a collaborative environment.”
- Use ‘I’ Statements – To avoid sounding accusatory, frame your observations from your perspective. “I feel that our discussions could be more productive if we approached them with more openness to differing viewpoints.”
- Highlight the Impact – Connect the behavior to its effect on the team or project. “When responses come off as uninterested or negative, it can dampen the team’s morale and hinder our collaborative efforts.”
- Offer Support and Solutions – Show your willingness to help. “I want to understand if there are underlying concerns driving these reactions and explore how we might address them together.”
- Encourage Open Dialogue – Make it clear that your intention is constructive. “I value your contributions and believe we can work together to improve our communication for the benefit of the entire team.”
- Be Respectful and Empathetic – Recognize that everyone has off days and that there may be personal factors at play. “I understand that we all have different stressors, and I’m here to support you in navigating them so we can all succeed.”
- Seek to Understand – Before concluding someone has an attitude problem, ask open-ended questions to understand their perspective better. “Can you share your thoughts on how we’ve been working together? I’m keen to understand your viewpoint and how we can improve our collaboration.”
In any professional setting, delivering feedback with empathy, respect, and a focus on solutions is key to maintaining positive relationships and promoting a healthy work environment.