People Skills Technique to Be Less Blunt Still Honest | #PeopleSkills #Bluntness

Use this emotionally intelligent people skills technique to be less blunt and still honest. It matters. Uninvited bluntness comes across as rude, hurtful, presumptuous, and yes, mean. Bluntness is not a right you can assume nor a gift you give someone. It’s a privilege others grant you sometimes when they trust you. So, be less blunt and still honest using the following people skills technique.

People Skills Technique: Image is a block w/ holes in it.

A People Skills Technique to Be Less Blunt Still Honest. Image by School of Art Carnegie Mellon via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by School of Art Carnegie Mellon University

Use This People Skills Technique to Be Less Blunt

Many times people ask me, “How can I be less blunt? I am offending others yet I still want to be honest with them.” Well, you can definitely be honest without being blunt if you care about others. Here’s the people skills technique to do it.

Separate your emotion & interpretation from your observation.

When you tell others what you are observing instead of what you are feeling, you become objective instead of judgmental and blunt. Honesty communicates observable behaviors that those you are speaking to can realize as well. On the flip side, bluntness blurts out your emotion and opinion about others. It skews toward your interpretation of their behavior and actions.

So to be honest not blunt, communicate what you observe about others not what you feel or judge them to be. This people skills technique is easy to do and it works! Here are some examples.

Examples of Blunt vs. Honest

  • Bluntness: A leader/manager says to an employee: “I see you are the lazy type.” This is blunt and false. You can’t see laziness. It’s their opinion of the employee and it is an insult to that employee.

  • Honesty Approach: You have potential to do more. I see you showing up late, taking extra long breaks etc… Let’s talk about how you can improve.

  • Bluntness: You ask dumb questions and it’s driving me nuts. This statement is blunt, rude, and insulting.

  • Honesty Approach: You ask questions that I think have obvious answers. Perhaps I’m missing something. Help me understand why you ask these questions. When you use this people skills technique where you ask for clarity instead of judging others and dumping your emotion on them, you preserve the relationship while still being honest.

  • Bluntness: You are insecure and take things too personally. Once again this statement communicates your opinion of them. It’s judgmental. Moreover, it discounts their feelings while spewing out yours.

  • Honesty Approach: Evidently, I have hurt you. I apologize, sincerely, and will not do it again. Help me to understand, further, how I have hurt you with my words.

People Skills Technique Summary: How to Be Less Blunt

If you want to be less blunt, don’t communicate your negative opinions and emotion about others. Instead, communicate what you actually see them doing and be open to discussing it and listening to their views. Being curious and open to other’s views will make you less blunt and still honest. your uninvited bluntness bombs out for 6 very logical reasons. So don’t trap yourself in bluntness. Use the people skills technique described in this post and be honest instead of blunt.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
7 Steps to Go From Brutally Blunt to Helpfully Honest
16 Moments When Are We Most Likely to Disrespect Others

©2022 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

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.

Get more inspiration and actionable tips for high engagement results!


Buy Kate Nasser’s new book Leading Morale (


Comments are closed.

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest