All posts by Joseph Grenny

Crucial Accountability QA

How to Manage Awkward Social Situations

Dear Joseph,

I was at a nail salon with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and my elderly mother. The salon was packed. We have used this salon many times in the past. They tend to manage their schedule well. A woman entered the salon and started yelling at one of the owners who was in the middle of doing another customer’s nails. The woman bent over in front of the other customer and yelled in the owner’s face that she, “WILL GET SERVED RIGHT NOW!” and on and on. I live in Minnesota where people do not often get confrontational. Everyone in the salon seemed stunned. The salon owners moved her ahead of others while the three of us fumed. What could I have done?

Signed,
Back of the Line

Dear Back of the Line,

Resentment, blame, and powerlessness are almost always signs you are not setting and maintaining boundaries.

A couple of years back, I took my seat for a cross-country flight in the U.S. Just before the plane door closed, a woman boarded and sat to my left. After the plane took off, I opened my laptop to finish some work when my seat mate turned her body to fully face me and said, “Let’s talk! We’ve got a lot of time.” She launched into a series of questions about Finish reading