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Lately at work, when I ask people what my greatest weakness is, it basically comes down to being a poor diplomat. I like to say what I think and put things very bluntly. In meetings I'm the one who's quick with a reason why we need to go a different way, or why we're wasting our time. Sometimes I can really tear someone down, and I've been working on being a little nicer. I'm told that I don't have a great "filter" for what I say and need to work on that.

The problem is, I'm known for being good at voicing what lots of people are thinking, I'm funny, and most people like that about me. In fact it's my strength! It's what gets me invited to meetings or brought into projects, I'm the "cut through the BS" girl! I've known people who don't come out with what they're thinking and, well, they're invisible... they don't do well as engineers, don't stand out, people assume they don't have opinions and are just floating along with the current.

So what's the world telling me... that sometimes I'm too harsh, but at the same time I'm respected and "needed" for my strong opinions? Is anyone else struggling to balance this sort of thing? Am I supposed to be myself in every sense of the word, or really learn to hold back? I just feel like my coworkers don't know what they really want from me, or don't know what's good for them.
 

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Have you worked out on a softer "Fi" like voice? Since I do that to mask my raw "Te" reasons, I've found it works by removing the fear yet at the same time people know that its not a regular Fi way since its has strong pragmatic undertones. Anyway just make the effort to listen give them room to talk showing that you've listen but at the end of the day do what is right. Don't bent over to get people to like you since that slows efficiency if you happen to be in a leadership role.
 
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Lately at work, when I ask people what my greatest weakness is, it basically comes down to being a poor diplomat. I like to say what I think and put things very bluntly. In meetings I'm the one who's quick with a reason why we need to go a different way, or why we're wasting our time. Sometimes I can really tear someone down, and I've been working on being a little nicer. I'm told that I don't have a great "filter" for what I say and need to work on that.

The problem is, I'm known for being good at voicing what lots of people are thinking, I'm funny, and most people like that about me. In fact it's my strength! It's what gets me invited to meetings or brought into projects, I'm the "cut through the BS" girl! I've known people who don't come out with what they're thinking and, well, they're invisible... they don't do well as engineers, don't stand out, people assume they don't have opinions and are just floating along with the current.

So what's the world telling me... that sometimes I'm too harsh, but at the same time I'm respected and "needed" for my strong opinions? Is anyone else struggling to balance this sort of thing? Am I supposed to be myself in every sense of the word, or really learn to hold back? I just feel like my coworkers don't know what they really want from me, or don't know what's good for them.
It's good that you recognize this and are open to change - this perception by others can torpedo a lot of endeavors.

While you may not be a born diplomat, you can certainly improve how others perceive your diplomacy skills:

Avoid "you" statements. Find a way to phrase things using "I" instead of you. "I'm not sure that I understand," vs. "You aren't explaining that very well."

Listen. Seek FIRST to understand and then to be understood. People need to feel heard.

Look for "softer" ways of saying something. "That's wrong" is not nearly as well received as "there might be another way."

Here's a decent article:

The Public Speaker : How to Be More Diplomatic :: Quick and Dirty Tips ™
 

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Maybe...

Instead of saying: "Doing X will cause Y" (which we're pretty sure will happen, because we can deduce logistical consequences where others don't think that way) [they think: "She's making me look stupid."]

Try: "Have you considered that doing X may result in Y?" [they think: "She's helping me build a plan of action!"]

I've been there - I feel your pain. :)
 

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So what's the world telling me... that sometimes I'm too harsh, but at the same time I'm respected and "needed" for my strong opinions? Is anyone else struggling to balance this sort of thing? Am I supposed to be myself in every sense of the word, or really learn to hold back? I just feel like my coworkers don't know what they really want from me, or don't know what's good for them.
I know what you mean. Best advice I can give is don't fight the battles that aren't relevant, stick with the ones that mean something. Otherwise people will think you're just a jackass. Not saying you do this, but it seems to work for me. When I have something to say in situations like that, people listen, because they know it's no BS....and they appreciate it.

Also agree completely with Niss. Wordsmithing is a worthwhile art. Call it political, silvertongue, whatever you want....it will keep your tone less antagonistic and help get things moving in the direction you want them to.
 

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Maybe...

Instead of saying: "Doing X will cause Y" (which we're pretty sure will happen, because we can deduce logistical consequences where others don't think that way) [they think: "She's making me look stupid."]

Try: "Have you considered that doing X may result in Y?" [they think: "She's helping me build a plan of action!"]

I've been there - I feel your pain. :)
...this is how we drive our bosses.
 

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BTDT. I'm getting better at developing my filter, although when I'm not feeling 100% (physically, mentally, whatever) the filter is usually the first thing to go.
 

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BTDT. I'm getting better at developing my filter, although when I'm not feeling 100% (physically, mentally, whatever) the filter is usually the first thing to go.
Being Enneagram 9, I don't have the problem of coming on strong... quite the opposite... I sometimes seem wishy-washy or non-committal. I very rarely want to get into a head-on conflict with someone (prototypical E9) over any topic, so I usually attack an opinion from the side or behind.

I prefer to ask them questions or provide options rather than outright saying X is the wrong way to go. My best case scenario is to make the person think they changed their mind on their own, the worse case is that I'm sure that I've put forth all the facts and they can't claim ignorance...


I can see where X might be misinterpreted as Y....
I think the cons might outweigh the pros in this instance...
Wouldn't X be a better alternative to Y?
Are you sure that Y is the best option? How about X?
Personally, I would choose Y because of A,B and C... Why do you think X might be better?


Obviously, not all topics should be approached this way... but if you use these on the not-so-important issues, then you can always bring out the big guns when It's truly important or if these don't work... :happy:
 

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Being Enneagram 9, I don't have the problem of coming on strong... quite the opposite... I sometimes seem wishy-washy or non-committal. I very rarely want to get into a head-on conflict with someone (prototypical E9) over any topic, so I usually attack an opinion from the side or behind.
I'm an E1 so do the math.
 

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I prefer to ask them questions or provide options rather than outright saying X is the wrong way to go. My best case scenario is to make the person think they changed their mind on their own, the worse case is that I'm sure that I've put forth all the facts and they can't claim ignorance...


Personally, I would choose Y because of A,B and C... Why do you think X might be better?
Good one!
 

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I prefer to ask them questions or provide options rather than outright saying X is the wrong way to go. My best case scenario is to make the person think they changed their mind on their own, the worse case is that I'm sure that I've put forth all the facts and they can't claim ignorance...
That's a balancing act too. I'll often use the same approach and see a successful plan I helped someone arrive to quickly credited to the other person because people think they came up with it. Luckily I'm at a point in my career where I've gotten all the credit I've ever needed and don't really care for any more, but there are some that will use this against you relentlessly. So I like to watch people fall on their face a lot before I help them out....principle.
 

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Sometimes you have to be a little PC in order to grease the corporate ladder. I know being blunt and criticizing are two of my greatest disadvantages when dealing with some feeling and even some thinking types. I'm learning to spot those types who I know will disagree with me from observation and seek to understand, maybe even adopt their position if it is relevant to the mission at hand.
 

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That's a balancing act too. I'll often use the same approach and see a successful plan I helped someone arrive to quickly credited to the other person because people think they came up with it. Luckily I'm at a point in my career where I've gotten all the credit I've ever needed and don't really care for any more, but there are some that will use this against you relentlessly. So I like to watch people fall on their face a lot before I help them out....principle.
Ahh... yes.. those people. No worries about me there.... They may do it once, but from then on they have to deal with my intelligent devious righteous passive-aggressive fury then. I don't default to that position though. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty to me... I like you by default until you prove otherwise. Also, I'm in IT. It becomes apparent pretty quickly if someone doesn't know their shit.
 
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