Stop Blurting… Start Listening

Blurting is an emotional outburst—sometimes positive, but mostly negative—that can derail a meaningful conversation. Positive blurting might recognize a staff member’s masterful performance. Yeah!! As such, positive blurting is focused 100% on the other person’s success with zero focus on the “blurter’s” own circumstances. Unfortunately, positive blurting is less common. Most of the time negative blurting is birthed out of jealously, feelings of inferiority, or defensiveness. More often than not, blurting occurs without warning because it is often charged with explosive emotions.

The result of a positive blurt is joyfulness, enthusiasm, and affirmation. It buoys the recipient and enables the blurter to effectively connect with others. However, the result of a negative blurt is awkwardness and confusion. What is the recipient supposed to say after a hostile blurt? Indeed, the blurter may leave the recipient embarrassed, upset, and uncertain as to how to proceed. Trust may be replaced with cautiousness.

To eliminate the malaise of negative blurting, determine under what conditions you usually blurt. Blurts are emotional and tend to stem from what embarrassments trigger us. The more we recognize and acknowledge our disempowering beliefs, the easier it is to stop the blurt from bursting forth. Practice pausing two to three full seconds before responding. Ask yourself whether your comments will enhance your relationships or if they will erode your ability to connect.

If you are the recipient of a negative emotionally charged blurt, acknowledge the blurter’s emotional state. “It is clear that you are passionate about this issue. Would it be helpful for us to identify several solutions and discuss over coffee?”



Written By: Clyde C. Lowstuter


About the Author

Clyde Lowstuter is a seasoned peak performance business consultant and executive coach to senior leaders. Clyde is also head of Robertson Lowstuter. Read Full Bio


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