In my book, “Saving Face: How to Preserve Dignity and Build Trust,” I explore the dimensions of face, a concept that represents one’s self-esteem, self-worth, identity, reputation, status, pride, social standing and dignity. Our ability to save and build face for others is the social currency of our time.
We can also, often unintentionally, cause someone to lose face. This causes someone to feel shame, fear, guilt, and vulnerability. You may lose their trust, the relationship damaged.Most of us don’t set out to cause others to lose face — a lack of awareness is usually to blame. Here are the top three ways we might be causing others to lose face, and how we can avoid it.
1. By giving negative feedback in front of others
In today’s era of social media, it is easy to slight someone without the check and balance of face-to-face interaction.Linda (not her real name) recently received some difficult feedback. She had been using Slack for all communication, including delivering critical feedback to individual team members — in full view of everyone else.