How to Deal with Buffy Blasthole

Buffy Blasthole’s motto is Express Yourself. She runs around telling everyone what she thinks regardless of harm or turbulence.

Ms. Blasthole blows up relationships, derails meetings, and creates havoc because she disregards the power of words.

Skillful leaders respect the power of words. Incompetence has no filter.

Experienced leaders consider the impact and consequences of words. Egotistical leaders believe crafting a message to suit the audience or softening tone wastes time.

Buffy Blasthole makes self-affirming excuses and brags about speaking the truth.

  1. They’ll get over it.
  2. I’m trying to help.
  3. I’m just speaking the truth.
  4. They need to grow up.
  5. They’re too thin skinned.

Warren Bennis taught that Leadership is becoming yourself. That’s not permission to remove the filter from your mouth.

If you use the above excuses, it’s time to find a filter.

A filter for Buffy Blasthole:

#1. Embrace an honorable purpose for opening your mouth.

When Ms. Blasthole explains the reason she’s harsh, inconsiderate, or abrasive, say, “I’d like you to find a better approach.”

How might you achieve your goal and avoid unnecessary turbulence or resistance?

The only reason to open your mouth is to make something better. If things are worse when you’re done speaking, you failed.

Open your mouth to:

  1. Strengthen relationship.
  2. Energize team members.
  3. Maximize someone’s potential. (Including your own.)
  4. Improve performance, both yours and other’s.
  5. Find understanding.
  6. Remove barriers.
  7. Correct misunderstanding.
  8. Confront – with kindness – harmful behaviors.
  9. Find clarity.
  10. Provide useful information or insight.
  11. Ask a question.
  12. Express your heart.

#2. Develop emotional intelligence.

75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies. Ms. Blasthole doesn’t know the difference between kind candor and unnecessary offense.

Everyone eats the fruit of their words. If leadership is bitter, reflect on your words.

“Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.” George Eliot

How might leaders help Buffy Blasthole find a filter?

How might leaders become effective communicators?