Here's another perspective on some of the stuff I've seen both in books and at corporate training sessions etc.
And maybe this is just a reflection of my personality but if I'm having a conversation with someone on delicate issues what I think moves the topic forward best is sincerity. There's just something about a regimented process that leaves me feeling like someone is reading from a script and that their heart - and therefore their mind - may not really be there. There may still be less than full honesty & disclosure.
I'll just pick one of the examples Oliver used only because of the handy formatting. There's other stuff in here quite similar.
Originally Posted by Olivier
Giving proper feedback
Step 0) Make the person aware you will be giving some feedback and how you will be doing it (if he/she is used to the method already, you can skip this step)
Step 1) Tell the person 3 things which you REALLY like about him/her. It can be anything - but you should really mean it.
Step 2) After these 3 things, you say the words AND I also wanted you to know (don't use 'BUT' or something else cause that's gonna put up a wall right away.
Step 3) You give the 'less pleasant' feedback
By giving a clear fact that happened, and how that fact made you feel
Whenever I've been approached by something like this - someone basically "buttering me up" in preparation for the real 'meat' to follow, it just seems so phony, so forced, so.....disingenuous that the person immediately takes a big hit in the credibility department ! It's like.....you got something to say - just say it - because you're obviously scared of it yourself and therefore it may be less than accurate to start with. Just say it and we'll take it from there. Skip the PC BS.
I will admit maybe there's some gender bias to this and some need to be handled more delicately. But I've always even questioned that assumption based on personal experience. My experience has been that although being direct and sincere from step one - although maybe resulting in some initial fireworks - has in the end left us both better friends/lovers/co-workers and better able to jump right into the next crisis knowing that we'll all put 'it' right on the table straight up with no punch-pulling or hidden (and possibly important) elements.
Anyway - just a perspective.........