The Drama Queens (and Kings) at your office need to be the center of attention. They’re provocative, emotional and reactive. And they are highly skilled at getting everyone around them worked-up, frazzled and emotional (that’s how they stay at the center of attention). So you’re going to manage them by doing the opposite (i.e. you’re going to be calm, cool and Factual).
Imagine you discover a significant problem at work; the kind you need approval from your boss to solve. So you work up a proposal, bring it to your boss, and wait for approval. You’re a problem solver, and that’s what problem solvers do, right? You find a problem and generate a solution. But imagine that instead of giving your proposal the green light, the boss says “that’s a good try, but I’d like to go in a different direction.”
Effective constructive criticism maintains a delicate balance. When criticism is too harsh, recipients shut down emotionally, get defensive, and fail to hear a word you say. When criticism is too soft, recipients fail to hear the message that they really do need to change.