Carroll Communication Coaching Newsletter
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* * * We heard from some of our subscribers that they had trouble accessing the video of Officer Simmons via the link we sent.  

It's working now, so you can either click on the video below, or Click Here to watch this amazing example of Partner in action. * * * 

Happy Partnering!

Helping Others Save Face
I've heard people say that in the Asian culture saving face is essential.  I believe the desire to save face is much more universal and may exist in every culture. For this reason, I encourage my clients to help others save face, particularly in delicate or potentially conflictual situations. This is especially important in situations when you're right, the other person is wrong, AND they know they're wrong!
So here's the approach:
  • Speak and move slowly (this creates a feeling of safety)
  • Resist the temptation to point out that you are right (they already know it)
  • Use self-deprecating humor or general humor as appropriate (avoid sarcastic or condescending humor)
  • Keep your face relaxed with a soft smile
  • Have good-natured energy
  • Attitude: act like it's no big deal
Here's a real life example of a Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy who has, in 20 years of service, given out over 25,000 traffic violations and not received one single complaint! Highly unusual in a city like LA!


Here's what you'll want to pay attention to:
At 1 minute 17 seconds (1:17) the reporter notices that Officer Simmons has the 'perfect mix of authority and diplomacy without any of the attitude'. Through the lens of PPP (Predator, Prey, Partner*) this translates to Simmons showing high competence AND high likability without abusing his positional power.

When referring to his attitude, he says 'I'm not up here [...] I'm not going to look down at you' (1:30). Equally important, he says 'I give them the benefit of the doubt [...] just not the guilt trip'. What this translates to is Simmons holding equal respect for himself AND for the other.

And here's the best part, even though they still get the ticket, their response is surprisingly positive. A driver who just received a ticket says 'it's his smile, really, he's got a great smile! I just got a ticket, he's a nice guy! [...] How can you be mad at that guy [...] it's disarming' (1:53).

Another driver says 'I was never so happy to get a ticket before in my life' (2:10)

So why do you think Officer Simmons has never received one single complaint? Overall people don't complain because they get the ticket, they complain because of how they've been treated. In fact, based on a conversation I had with a professional who works with doctors dealing with malpractice suits, she said 'doctors don't get sued because they make mistakes, they get sued because they act like jerks'

Often when people are in situations that are potentially confrontational, a predator or prey reaction frequently follows. In this video, Officer Simmons demonstrates it's possible to maintain high respect for himself and others. He does his job and delivers the bad news in such a way that helps them to save face, leaving the situation with a positive experience!

Happy Partnering!

For more great insights from Amy, check out her blog Green Light Transformation

And if you missed the last newsletter, Click Here to read more about Breaking Negative Reciprocity!
This Month's Success Story:

Actions speak louder than words, and we just love sharing the successes that our clients get by using these techniques.

Remember, if you share your success with us and it appears in our newsletter you'll receive a free 30 minute coaching session with Amy worth 250 Euro.

Here's this month's success story...

Dear Amy,

First of all, thank you very much for a fruitful training. I have just started to put my learning in to practice (I still tilt my head a little). I have already gone through your book and found it very easy to read and interesting. It is real life experience of what you teach and is quite useful.

After the training I have recalled an experience my wife and I had a few years ago and I would like to share with you.

On our wedding celebration we gathered about 120 guests at the cocktail and restaurant. During that celebration some of the guests, after a few hours of hard drinking, became a bit of a nuisance. Well, you know, singing aloud and with special lyrics (more appropriate for a buccaneers' tavern than for the pleasant restaurant and environment we had so carefully chosen). I didn't pay too much attention to this misbehavior as they are good friends of ours though we were rather worried that the rest of the guests might find it inappropriate and feel uncomfortable.

After our wedding my wife and I sent a note out to each one of our guests to thank them for their presence and attention during the celebration. Also for those that did not show up we prepared a note saying that we had regretted not having them during that special day. It was a handwritten, sincere and personal note signed by my wife and me. You can imagine it took us a few hours to prepare them all.

We, of course, discarded the idea of telling our friends that their behavior had not been after our own hearts. This decision left my wife and me with this feeling of discomfort for not telling them that we considered it inappropriate what they did (our egos were struggling and dancing the tango, I guess). Finally, we said: '...they are our friends, after all, so we will carry that weight..."

A few days later we received a call from one of the mischievous guests. He was acting as the speaker of the group of troublemakers. To our surprise, he called to apologise for their behavior. He told us that our kind note appreciating their presence and attention was taken by them as a sarcastic note (I can swear that the notes they received had the same appreciation message than the ones we sent to the other friends and relatives) and realized that probably my wife and I might be angry for their attitude during the celebration.

The learning of the story is that treating people kindly can get the best out of them, helping them to realize by themselves that they might be hurting you.

Best regards, Carlos Antonio Gomez Portela
Senior Implementation Manager
Maersk Line Process Excellence Business Improvement
If you would like to find out more about how power dynamics can damage your business' results and how to enhance your team or company's performance, please contact Amy.
* The Predator Prey or Partner™ model is licensed content created by Pat Kirkland of Pat Kirkland Leadership Inc. Founded in 1990, PKL ( is a company with a purpose, the "soul" purpose of creating a world that works together better. Its business mission is to offer practical, powerful communication programs teaching people how to transform their work relationships by changing how they communicate.
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About Carroll Communication Coaching
Amy Carroll has over 30 years of experience. Her understanding of the human psyche is extensive! She employs her background in psychology, improv theater and mediation to lead training and coaching programs for multinationals worldwide. If you would like Amy to speak at your conference, run a workshop for your team, or coach you one-on-one: 
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