Blur words or phrases are wording that is open to multiple meanings. Often blur words reflect the user’s interpretation of behavior that might have other explanations. For instance, a performance reviewer might say “Be less defensive” when the person might sincerely feel that they were simply explaining their behavior more than defending it. Given life’s complexity, reality might be a blend of both… BUT without the use specific examples no meeting of the minds will occur.

The use of definitive examples might result in a more productive response: “Okay, I understand that might have come across as defensive. Can you help me craft a reply that would layout my logic without being defensive?”

Great communicators take responsibility not only for what they intend to say but for what others hear, how their words might come across to others who have had different experiences, different frames of reference. Phrases that are not clear cut, wording that is evaluatory or judgmental (especially without criteria agreed upon in advance) will more likely lead to miscommunication than communication.

Closing Quotes:

“In situations where straight talk is most needed, it is most likely to be elusive.” Eric F. Douglas, ‘Straight Talk’

“Lack of clarity is the primary reason for failure in business and personal life.” – Brian Tracy, Maximum Performance

“What we see great feedback givers doing differently is they’ll convert their blur words into actual data points.” – LeeAnn Renninger, ‘The Secret to Giving Great Feedback’

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier