I think there is much we can do to alter our nonverbals (actually our words, too) so that any information we are giving has a better chance of being received in the tone/spirit we
would want if someone needed to deliver information to us.
My most natural tendency is to be "straightforward." I had to learn how to finesse communications. Some thoughts:
- Realize how important rapport with coworkers and good working relationships are. You don't have to be BFFs but you do need to be respectful of and friendly with people.
- Pride and ego are involved here - and not
just the pride and ego of the one receiving new information. Admit it, a lot of um, straightforward people who like to know the 'right' way to do things (aka "know-it-alls"), kind of enjoy others knowing that they know something. Even if they themselves aren't aware of their pride issue.
- Realize that, when you are sure you know something, it's super easy to be too straightforward about it, because you don't view it on an emotional level but rather as a "fact" - but that's just not how it plays out for the one hearing your information. It's an awkward situation (it could be). Care is in order.
- Constantly correcting is just not good form. It just isn't. So...try to "worry about your own back yard" as my parents would say, unless it's really important.
- There are a ton of times where you can take the time to be more friendly about it (almost always, unless you are right in the moment watching someone about to make a critical error). What's more important - sharing your knowledge (along with your knowledge that you are "right") or using care so that you might actually be successful with something that is in patients' best interest? Definitely the latter. For example, in the OP situation I would say, "You know, I've heard a number of different ways to do this! Some people wipe it, some don't, some go this way first then that way. I may look at the policy later (don't mind me, that's just how my brain works) - I'll let you know what I find out!"
- **Remember that this individual was likely taught to do this the way she is doing it.** That is important. She didn't originate this "wrong" way. For lack of a better word, it's a little like feeling betrayed to find out that someone taught you wrong and you've been doing something wrong ever since. Embarrassing. Heck, in nursing school
I was taught a procedure incorrectly (something very basic - fake example: mixing up something like dorsal and ventral). WELL into my career a kind soul carefully "investigated" our difference in understanding with me, using friendly language (and she probably pretended to be confused about it, bless her heart). She put my feelings above her demonstration of knowledge. That is what I have strived to do ever since.