Mark’s Blog

Hi, I’m Mark McPherson. Every week for 52 weeks, starting on Tuesday the 22nd of March 2016, I’m posting a blog about of one of my 52 types of poorly behaved and difficult people. 52 blogs = 52 weeks = 52 types. This is the third blog in the series. I hope you enjoy it.

#48. The Side-Tracker. 

Side-Trackers try to control you and the conversation you’re trying to have. They try to divert them so we don’t talk about what we want to talk about and perhaps really need to talk about.  They try to manipulate the conversation and if they succeed, they will ultimately manipulate us.

Side-Trackers are sometimes very polite and very cool, calm and collected. But be warned. They can also be rude, overbearing and intimidating. And they’re the sort of people who can easily switch from one to the other if they feel the need.

This week’s blog is in the form of a video. It isn’t perfect. It’s just me in my office and a DSLR camera. But nonetheless, I think it moves along at a pretty good pace and covers what needs to be covered. To watch the video, simply click on the image below.

A brief summary of the video.

  • All of us, every now and them, try to side-track conversations. We don’t like the direction the conversation is going so we send it on a different path. Some it’s poor behaviour. But sometimes it’s for a very good reason. And sometimes it’s even honourable.
  • But there is nothing honourable about the Side-Tracker.
  • Sometimes the Side-Tracker is successful and we don’t even know it. We walk away from conversations wondering where we went wrong.
  • Sometimes the Side-Tracker is successful but before the conversation is ended, we’re onto it. “Hang on.” we say to ourselves. “How come we’re talking about this?”  And we try to back-peddle and get back on track. We need to start talking about what we need to talk about.
  • Sometimes the Side-Tracker tries to take control but we realise what they’re doing before they can do it. It means we can stop them from taking us down the wrong path. We could, for example, let them know their question or statement is not relevant at the moment – without being rude or too blunt of course. Or we could ignore what they’re saying and get on with what we need to talk about. In either case, we need to take control.
  • A very helpful strategy for getting on with the job of saying what we need to say, and sticking to the issue at hand, is the ANATOMICAL script.


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