Effective Communication Skill Blog

He's talented, dedicated, smart, charming and skilled. He is a man of conviction. There is much to admire. But he has a near-fatal flaw. He likes to be the one with all the answers. He has an opinion on just about everything, which he will share whether you indicate interest or not. 

For a few of my friends, this flaw is a deal-breaker. They like him—they like his work—but they stopped using his services because he hard-sells his ideas.

When one more friend told me she wasn't going back to him, and why, I had to say something. I consider him a friend, and friends don't let friends sabotage themselves without input.

So I raised the issue with him, told him why some people I know stopped coming to him, and told him how I sometimes don't share my thoughts with him because I don't want to be lectured.

To his credit, he heard me. He did ask if it would be better to be wimpy. I replied,

  • There are alternatives.

The same black-and-white thinking that fuels the intensity of his opinions limits his idea of options. Many people think that way: "If you're not overbearing, you're wimpy."

It takes a while to strike any kind of balance between the opposites of life. I find it helps a lot to know you have more communication choices than being passive or being aggressive. While you attempt to strike the balance, I suggest you let yourself err in the direction that is the opposite of your normal imbalance. If you've been hard-selling your ideas, balance will probably seem wimpy, even if it's perfect. 

Yesterday I posted about Jodi Foster's award acceptance speech. She spoke about her plans to "move people by being moved."

The one with all the answers doesn't do that. 

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