"Correcting bad habits cannot be done by forbidding or punishment."
~ Robert Baden-Powell
There you are in a meeting when someone states something completely incorrectly. What to do? Ignore it? Tell others? Shout out the right answer or information?
While none of those are recommended, or likely effective, or good for your reputation and rapport with that person, and others, there is a solution...or two!
When you hear someone state something that is incorrect, HELP them and the situation humbly and subtly by making sure you:
H - Heard them correctly by repeating it back, and allowing them to restate or back off, and then
E - Encouraging them to explore what that information could do or not do if more is not considered, then
L - List other options by leading them to an improved statement or suggestion, and finally
P - Provide encouragement and collaboration for moving forward.
It will look something like this:
Pat states sales were only down 2% and that slow marketing has the projections behind when you checked that all marketing and promotions ran as planned and that sales are down 20%.
You may think "Oh no - that's way off!!", yet you say:
"Thanks for sharing that information, Pat. Please forgive me if I heard the information incorrectly, as it sounded like sales were only down 2%." Pat may or may not agree. If Pat realizes 2% was stated and 20% was the real number, you are done, and if Pat stays with it, you then say "You likely had information from earlier in the month before our final numbers were out, and that is before some other drastic drops happened. There are a lot of reports, and very recently a new report came out that I happened to get to see. Some of the options for looking at the sales are by months, by region, or by product line, and with those breakdowns, unfortunately, we will all be seeing a 20% decrease in sales after our marketing efforts went off as scheduled. I am here to assist with how you want to address that 20% decrease with strategy, sales reviews, or a joint session with marketing."
By being direct, calm, and open while not ignoring, talking with others later, or shouting, you will allow someone to save face, you build trust, and together, you can create a solution!