Bluntness Bombs for 6 Logical People Skills Reasons | #leadership #PeopleSkills
by Kate Nasser | 7 Comments »
Bluntness Bombs Out: Here’s Why!
As The People Skills Coach™, I often coach leaders, managers, and technical professionals on steps to move from bluntness to helpful honesty. For people who are inspired by logic to change their behavior, here are 6 smart logical reasons why being blunt bombs out.
6 Logical People Skills Reasons Bluntness Bombs Out
- No Warm-Up. Picture your bluntness as very cold water. If you push someone into a cold swimming pool, they remember the shock. If you let them wade in, they adjust to the temperature and function well. So, if you want people to hear and embrace your message, don’t shock them with being blunt.
- Punching Dulls the Brain. Punching bags are not known for their performance. They hang and swing. If you are blunt to effect a change, those you verbally punch may swing away from you. They are not likely to understand your message or change behavior.
- Being blunt builds barriers. Yet, communication is for connection. Being blunt can create a busy signal — a barrier — between communicator and listener. Because the other person isn’t listening, your message essentially bombs out.
- Being blunt undermines respect and credibility. The strength of the message is weakened by the rudeness of the approach. Who is going to respect and believe the message delivered by a blunt oaf?
- Bluntness breaks bonds. Most people aren’t hermits. They interact and build bonds with others to survive and thrive. Bluntness may get your words out but it bombs out by breaking important bonds. It may even create vengeful feelings and start a verbal war.
- Bluntness focuses on your needs and overlooks others. It screams selfishness. It lacks emotional intelligence. It’s no wonder that bluntness turns others off.
And 3 More Very Human Reasons
Message to Leaders
Many leaders resort to bluntness out of frustration. When diplomatic honesty doesn’t seem to be working, they swing over to bluntness. Others resort to bluntness when they lose patience with those who don’t seem to understand their message or won’t listen.
Yet when you reach the end of your rope, why cut it with bluntness? Unless you need to use bluntness to save a life or prevent death, hold on to the rope!
Take a moment and tap your intellect, logic, and people skills to find a way to communicate with honesty and respect. It’s far more effective than bluntness.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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Hi Kate ,
Are you reading my mind ? Recently I had a couple of experiences with people I met who behaved exactly as you described. I love all your great metaphors. Some self-proclaimed experts do not hesitate to tell how stupid you are, how bad is what you do and take every occasions to knock you down by giving unsolicited advises and criticizing. I even had one guy suggesting to stop being me ! Thank you Kate, you made me laugh and that is a good start for the week.-Anne
Thank you Anne. Your examples reinforce the negative impact of being brutally blunt and thus strengthen this post.
Have a wonderful week — and let’s both find great chances to laugh, learn, and celebrate!
Question on the definition of bluntness. Why is it assumed that bluntness has to be nasty or humiliating or hurtful. Why is it not good to use simple plain truth in simple plain words (in the right setting of course)?
If it’s simple plain perspective, in simple words, and said with an understanding of how it impacts the listener .. then that’s “simple honesty”. I use the word bluntness in the post to connote the indifference and lack of emotional intelligence when communicating.
The definition of simple truth I think, is what’s in question here. What is truth to some is opinion and perspective to others. When we speak from perspective (i.e. not blunt), we allow and invite others views. It breeds openness and dialogue.
Thanks for your question and expanding this discussion.
Somehow, this article of yours allowed me to close my thoughts on another (mostly unrelated) topic. Have written an article on it (and given the deserved credit to you for the thought). Link is http://viewsfromawindow.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/bluntness-motivation/
Hope you enjoy it!