Do You Have a low Tolerance to BS?
“If I’m fat just tell me I’m fat”
You tell it like it is and you expect others to do the same. Sure, you take feelings into consideration… sometimes!
You talk straight to your kids, including teenagers, you talk straight to your boss, your spouse, and your parents. You expect the same, right? You want straight talk from your mechanic, your accountant and your fitness trainer. “If I’m fat just tell me I’m fat” you tell your trainer.
If you can see yourself in any of these situations you, my friend, have a low tolerance to BS.
How to communicate BS free and without looking like a jerk?
It’s easy to communicate BS free, you just have to care about the other person and what they are saying, feeling, and wanting. If you care about that employee, boss, family member and they know it, you can talk BS free and expect the same from them. If there are repercussions if they speak their mind, or you judge them for doing so, you’ll get BS for the rest of the day, week, month, you know, forever. Simple as that.
Not that simple? Ok, try using these strategies for better communication:
1. Pay attention
Notice I said pay attention, not just listen. I say this for a reason. You must listen intently, with your mind, your ears, your eyes and your body. Your body language will tell the other person that they are important, that you care, and that they have your full attention, all of it. Not half of your attention shared with a text or Facebook, or a call that you have to take, or the TV. I mean all of it. Put your phone to the side, or turn it off (yes I said it) and look the person in the eyes with your shoulders facing them.
2. Don’t Interrupt
Next time you’re part of a group conversation count how many times people jump in, add, or simply interrupt the speaker. They might do it directly to the person speaking or turn to another person and start a conversation. We all have the urge to talk, and to express ourselves, but don’t do it! You can nod, say “aha”, and give positive facial expressions, but don’t interrupt. If the person goes off topic bring them back with “I really want to know what happened next”. In extreme occasions you might say “Get to the point” or if you want to be subtle “Finish the story, I only have ten minutes”.
3. Don’t Judge
This is the big one. If you start judging you’ll start getting BS simply because nobody will want to tell you straight up what they did, what they are thinking or what the situation is. Your employees will give you a thick story that sounds like “it wasn’t my fault” all the way through. Your kids will say how it’s the teachers fault they’re getting the failing grade, you know the story. Unless you have a law degree and were appointed and nominated to the Supreme Court by the President, don’t judge.
Remember, part of NO BS by definition is no judging. It’s about getting to a goal, the goal might be to feel better, or to come up with a solution. Remember, not all problems have solutions, especially many of the emotional ones.
4. Ask Questions
Asking questions engages you in conversation. It opens up the other person to share what they really want to say. Sometimes you even have to tell them “I really want to know” but many times a “Tell me what happened” is sufficient. Practice asking questions and digging into life, business or other life issues. Yes, it takes practice. If you’re a consultant or a salesperson you know what I’m talking about.
5. Now You Can Talk: Your Delivery
Now that people know you care, you listen and your intentions are good, you can be as direct as you want with no repercussions. If you’re speaking with someone you don’t know it will not work until they know who you are and what you’re about. Practice it in your home first before taking it out in the real world. Let me know how it goes, no BS!