Insider Exclusive: Kill Them With Kindness

Insider Exclusive: Kill Them With Kindness

By: Vincent Ivan Phipps

Do you want to have fewer arguments at work? Would you like to have more success with the discussions in which you are involved? We’ve all heard the expression, “Kill them with kindness.” This is a great concept as long as the person you are killing with kindness is receptive to it. However, what happens when you are being kind beyond measure but they are still being knuckleheads?

Behavioral science tells us that, during arguments, 68 percent of the population will lean toward being emotional over being logical. If you are too emotional, you can lose sight of quantifiable data. If you are too logical, you can lose sight of establishing rapport. The solution to arguing less falls within how you engage with that person. The key is to replace statements of feeling with questions about facts. For example:

If you are thinking this …                                                 Ask this …

You let me down before, so you probably will again.      What will be done differently to ensure follow-through?

This is way over the budget.                                             How will the money be generated to afford it?

Team meetings are useless if no one follows the rules.  Regarding policy, what’s needed to establish agreement?

Since conflicts are bound to arise, treat moments of confrontation as opportunities to demonstrate your leadership abilities. The person who asks the questions controls the conversation. So be sure to ask questions from a place of amiability instead of animosity. Direct your questions less toward what’s wrong and more on what’s needed. During your next confrontational moment, kill them with questions.

Vincent Ivan Phipps, M.A., CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is the owner and chief energy officer of Communication VIP Training and Coaching. He specializes in motivational keynotes, interactive workshops, and individual coaching. For more information, visit

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