Q.2 I FIND I CAN'T EXPRESS myself to my boss when he examines my work and, sometimes, suggests changes. I internalize everything and feel he's criticizing me. How can I swallow my pride and learn to just take it like a man?
A. MAYBE IT ISN'T NECESSARY TO TAKE IT like a man. It's more important to remember advice of the late George J. Thompson, president and founder of the Verbal Judo Institute. His theories are preserved in Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, a new edition of Mr. Thompson's book updated by Jerry B. Jenkins. He said, He encourages better listening, but says to always be heard, stop verbal attacks in their tracks, and remember, "When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you're in control." For example, when you think you are being criticized, show empathy by saying, "Let me be sure I heard what you just said." That says you're trying to understand and just about anyone will stop and listen, and respond, to be sure you really do understand. That conversation should help your pride, and help you get information to help you work better.