“Making” Coworkers Admit They are Wrong

Boss Judge

Q. My boss has asked me to go on a live conference call to confront one of my co-workers with her lack of teamwork and the ways she avoids all work.  How can I make her see that she’s wrong?

A.  The short answer, you can’t.  But do not think this call is useless or go into it unprepared!  You can make this call helpful to you and your career.  We just need to back up and take a new look at what you’ll be doing.

First off, look at the word you used, “make”.  Once you want to make anybody do or see anything, you are connected to them in a negative way.

All they have to do, in order to thoroughly tick you off, is NOT see or do what you want them to.  You are instantly stuck in a power struggle you won’t get out of.

You are not on that call to make your co-worker do anything.  That will only put you in an argument right in front of your boss.  Instead of her looking bad and you looking good, she’ll drag you down to her level and your boss will be sick of both of you.

Think of this as a debate.  The person you are debating will never agree with you or concede their point.  So what.

The scoring is done by the judges and they decide the winner.  In your case, you are debating your co-worker and the judge is your boss.

Remain calm, take nothing personally, and do not engage in any of the power struggle your co-worker will attempt to suck you into. Address what she says, but remember your real audience is your boss.

Convince the boss.  You won’t ever convince your co-worker and you don’t have to.


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