I’m not sure where we get the tendency to answer the question before it’s asked (maybe from watching jeopardy) but it’s got to be one of the more frustrating things we do to people. Is there anything that I can do to lighten the impact of these questions, and still get the answers I seek? Many times, I find myself wondering to who’s perception is this “agressiveness” is coming out of, as I don’t personally think that I ask questions bluntly. They decide quickly – almost effortlessly. Maybe I should take a note from some of the more head strong employers and learn that at times it’s ok to be a little more direct. 2. Have you shut them down or are they conversing with you? ... or colleague is troubling you, try being direct about what you want or need without labeling their behavior as "passive-aggressive." Personality type is a huge predictor of both success and failure. This rebellious personality type is perhaps one of the most exasperating to manage. We all appreciate a leader who is honest and direct in the way they speak. Most people reading this blog post from HackerNews will fit with this personality type. Margie, you’ve definitely provided a great reminder of how different geographic areas accept or reject certain styles. They would prefer to lead than follow, and tend towards leadership and management positions. This is very good advise that is to often overlooked or not considered. A person with type A personality could easily be recognized because of the typical attributes they possess. I am sometimes not direct enough. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. Taking the time to stop and comprehend something before you respond is a smart thing to do in any situation. Assertiveness is the ability to formulate and communicate one's own thoughts, opinions and wishes in a clear, direct and non-aggressive way. As Lewis says, being abrasive doesn't necessarily mean that a person is "bad." If we’re truly listening, we aren’t doing that. Keep in mind that the majority of the north american population tends to be overly passive (from the research I conduct in my training classes, approximately 60% of people skew more passive). An individual with a self-effacing or dependent style does not like “to make waves” or “rock the boat too much” on the interpersonal voyage of life. Political correctness, thin-skinned coworkers, and fear of litigation have made it difficult to be direct or candid with people without crossing some sort of line. Good luck. 1 … Analytical types are constantly assessing, determining pros and cons, making lists of to do items. You’re forthcoming; you don’t beat around the bush and are confident in your decisions. Openness is shorthand for \"openness to experience.\" People who are high in openness enjoy adventure. As licensed therapist and professional counselor, Heidi McBain, MA, tells Bustle, an abrasive personality may have trouble holding kind conversations with people due to a lack of empathy. Emotional manipulation, mind games and reassuring lies all run counter to Logisticians’ preference for managing the reality of the situations they encounter with plain and simple honesty. When faced with a problem personality, most of us do one of two things: We either confront the person head-on, leading to escalating hostility, or … If you have no interests, which a common problem for many people, then it's probable that you are trying to find what you are into but haven't really felt a click with anything yet. There's nothing wrong with that. I've been told it sounds too cold, too direct, too militaristic, too rude, too condescending, etc. Sure, you have lots to do and think about, but this moment is all you have. Advice I still don’t follow as much as I would like. Thanks for that! These traits can change and evolve over time. Thanks! When the line is crossed it can shut people down, stop creative thinking, and make more work for you as others either avoid you or ask you for direction at every turn because they don’t want to deal with your negative reactions. So probably I should talk to him about this issue, right? Try not to be too direct with this type of personality. I’ve coached a fair number of people who’ve moved across country or across the globe who’ve discovered this. For instance, in some places abrasiveness may be considered common. An overly direct leader can be abrupt. When people know you truly care about them, that they are safe with you, and believe you are committed to serving their best interests it is amazing how direct/straight you can be. I did a series on listening awhile back (you might find it if you use the search tool in the left column)because I find it supremely important to good relationships and good leadership. ... too. While it’s certainly nice to do things for others, the People Pleaser’s motivation is often not generosity, but a need for validation and recognition, allowing them to feel like they’re worth something. These Type A, B, C, and D personality descriptions are classic descriptions designed to provide you with some background information about a particular personality. If you want to be inclusive, to foster innovation, and to have staff that are fully functional and independent, you may need to find a way to dial back on your bluntness while still being clear and honest in your communication. The line is thin between being direct and crossing into being overly direct. To convince others, you must be willing to speak up and demonstrate confidence in your idea, product, or opinion. By being mastering the skills of direct persuasion. Your second point, at least partially, is about the assumptions we make. They are still the same person, just more enjoyable/ less stressful to work with. For instance, the honest to a fault individual might unintentionally come off as abrasive to those who don't really know them. Abrasive personalities can come off as pushy and impatient even without intending to. We’re far too complicated to fit neatly into broad categories. Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), … The D Personality Style tends to be direct and decisive, sometimes described as dominant. They may appear to have an attitude of “its my way or the high-way”. Where you're from and how you learned to deal with people is one way to determine whether a person may be seen as abrasive. Often times, Dr. Lipson says they don't want to appear vulnerable to others, so they overcompensate by saying things in a confident way. They are usually very nice and pleasant but their feelings get hurt too easily. I know very direct and to the point people who have softened their communications style over the years. "Abrasive is a relative term," life and wellness coach, Melissa Lewis, tells Bustle. Don’t accuse. Thanks for your comments. Put yourself in their shoes: A little bit of empathy can go a long way in avoiding being too blunt. Being honest is a good thing. Why are things set up in that fashion?” It seems that some people on the receiving end of those questions might get a little offended because of their comfortability with the system. You also have to know your audience. Most people that you encounter think that you thrive on it but this is not the truth. William, soften your tone and change those questions from starting with “why” (which can seem accusatory) to starting with “what”: “What is working well about what we’re doing?” or “What could we do differently”?. In general, they are nice. "Many times abrasive people can't see it in themselves because they get what they want and people will not typically call them out on their behavior," Lewis says. Know what words to avoid. However, recognizing that there is something that may need to be fixed is the first step in realizing how this behavior may be affecting others. Empathy is the ability to understand and get a feel for other people's emotions. The 5 recommendations you have above I will definitely try to keep in my mind when communicating with others and I thank you for them, although I have heard variations of them it is important to keep reminding myself of how to improve the interactions I have all the time with so many different people. The People Pleaser tries to find their self-worth through constantly doing things for other people. Dial it back by asking them a question to invite them back into the conversation. In fact they may even be proud of the fact that they are direct and think others should be too. Although the intention wasn't to hurt someone else, it may come off differently. And as Ray pointed out, make sure you are actively listening to our employees, not just giving them 50% of our attention and going on with assuming we know what they are thinking. They may not recognize when they have not provided the care and time needed to speak to others in such a way that there is a give and take in the conversation. We use words like Dominant, Direct, Demanding, Decisive, Determined and Doer to describe this personality style. It's unintentionally saying the wrong thing at the wrong time or making a joke to cheer someone up that doesn't go over correctly. But sometimes honesty, like too much of it, can have a way of rubbing people the wrong way. Brett, thanks for underscoring the importance of good listening. A lot of understanding and flexibility can come out of the kind of training you suggest. That’s probably where I struggle. The DISC Behavioral model describes four basic patterns, none of which is better or worse than any of the others. Domineering personalities value people who are capable of being open, honest and direct above all else, according to a report released by Boston University. Asking a friend to help keep them in check can also be useful. 1. If the abrasive personality can get other people to understand how they are as well as understand how others work, there shouldn't be too much problems. My friend at work is “too direct”. Good leaders strive for clarity and truthfulness. Now I have figured it out I take special care to ensure I phrase my questions explicitly as such, but it’s a difficult habit to break! An abrasive personality should really be mindful to take notice of the reactions of the person or people they're talking to. The factors are openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. Thanks for the great post! He is direct in talking, without knowing sometimes he has already hurt my feelings; Also, he insists that I should say something even when I don’t know what to say. Perhaps even soft spoken. Very few people are purely one type. D’s can be intense.They tend to know 2 speeds in life – zero and full throttle… mostly full throttle. You can still be honest and direct without crossing the line into bluntness and shutting others down. They communicate in a very direct manner, saying what they mean and meaning what they say. They may be rushed, and may not be fully present in the conversation. Coaching Skills for Breakthrough Performance, Transforming your leadership takes more than intention, http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2011/02/the-r.html, Five daily opportunities to deepen work relationships, How you can encourage creativity in your team, The joy of letting go of your stories about others, The day your life and leadership change for the better. It just that your personality attracts people to you. We see overly direct talks every day in our life. "They are often very skilled in commanding an audience and show little patience with others," Dr. Lipson says. Men fare far better with an aggressive and direct personality than women. As such, your best bet in dealing with this personality type is to approach topics directly. One thing I have found to help improve the relationship between an overly direct manager and his or her employees is behavioral communication training. Also, just to reiterate, you don’t have to change your personality. Dealing with type A personality basically entails bearing their negative traits. So lesson learned, I think you got to find a balance, can’t be too direct and can’t be too timid. Meng, yes, it would be a good (but difficult) conversation to have with your boss. It led to a lot of the sorts of accusations listed above and for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why as I was diligently practicing all of the advice listed in this post. If you’ve had feedback that indicates that others perceive your communication style as too direct, brusque, abrupt, rigid, or blunt, here are some ways to pause and reconsider your reactions when you are communicating with others: Slow down: Take some deep breaths, all the way down into your belly. According to Lewis, abrasive personalities come from several sources. The best way to know if someone is an abrasive personality is to carefully watch the reactions of others in their presence. What a great bit of advice. I find that i often have conversations where I get caught up in the moment and can have reactions that turn people off. “These people never realize that life does not have to be a battlefield with a black or white, good or bad way of seeing things.” But life isn't like that. They may appear to have an attitude of “its my way or the high-way”. I think it’s all about a balance. I really enjoyed this post because I know I can be overly direct; which I contribute to being the oldest of 5 children, because I always felt the need to be efficient in my communication to be organized and get everything done. Thanks for the post! Analytical types are constantly asking questions, almost to the point of getting too much information. Ground yourself in the present moment. A free online esl lesson with clear example sentences using words like affectionate, sympathetic .. to aggressive, egotistical. They will pay off! Put some warmth in your tone and slow your pace so that they will speak up. Adjectives used to describe a person's character and personality traits. "Family is a major one," she says. Where I grew up, it would be understood as a question and treated accordingly, but where I live now, it is interpreted as an instruction or, worse, as a statement of inflexible belief on my part that cannot be challenged. Taking those extra few seconds could save large amounts of time in the future repairing relationships and trust. I have included your post in my Rainmaker ‘Fab Five’ blog picks of the week (found here: http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2011/02/the-r.html) to share your suggestions for “dialing it back” with my readers. Some abrasive personalities can come off as pushy because they probably learned it from childhood. However, as I develop myself I have been told by others that the way I communicate via e-mail or even in person sometimes is “cold” or impersonal and I feel this has a lot to do with me just trying to get a job done rather than fully appreciating what the interaction may look like from the other person’s perspective. It's always good to take a moment to check out of the conversation. Wish I would have had this post back then! I have seen better listening take care of the overly direct style almost single handedly. That's because they have a ton of opinions and have no problem letting everyone know. I think the best pieces of this article to take away from are listening and observing yourself. Highly aggressive, short tempered, inflexible and over conscious of time are some prominent traits of a type A personality and a person has to encounter such ill behavior while mingling with them. As a former New Yorker, now living in Sacramento, CA, it has become apparent that sometimes I don’t “dance” enough and am not “demure” enough for some local individuals. In that case, he will stare at me for a long time in silence until I open my mouth. They would prefer to lead than follow, and tend towards leadership and management positions. The “Sensitive” takes any type of confrontation too personally. They may be rushed, and may not be fully present in the conversation. It tells people that you’re in too big a hurry to really listen to their concern, understand it, and then respond. In a number of research studies, across a wide variety of job types, conscientiousness has been the best of the Big Five at consistently predicting job performance. Looking back I can see that I what I had to learn was as much about how to adapt to the cultural norm as it was how to communicate more effectively. Stop and listen: Stop talking and listen to the individual you are speaking to. I guess that might be a learned behavior from a society/culture that does not accept aggressive and direct communication from women. Years later one of the things I am most valued for is my ability to be direct. In my experience I think many people have put too little emphasis in putting themselves into other peoples shoes at the moment, only to look back on what had been said to wish they had said things differently. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. I enjoyed your article on how to not come off as being overly blunt. 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