I’ve recently got a chance to deal softly with people.
We got new neighbors. The new residents over my “office” (that would be corner in our apartment) were walking in such manner that we could hear their footsteps. At daytime that’s no big deal, but at nights it can be pretty annoying.
For some people, a pretty typical way to deal in this type of situation is to swear a lot and hit the ceiling with something.
That probably makes things worse, and we decided to deal with them differently.
We decided to wrote a note where we didn’t accuse them for causing the noise, and explained what was the problem. We explained that because of the old building, it would be nice if they would try to avoid stepping heavily (especially at the nighttime). This is so important that I repeat: we didn’t blame them for causing the noise (I thought they simply might not realize they were causing it).
After delivering the letter we haven’t heard those noises any more – so it looks like our friendly note had some kind of impact.
I’m not suggesting that this approach would always work, but often when you don’t blame and explain your point-of-view, you can get people on your side much easier than by trying to force them to understand.