Civil society demands a certain amount of diplomacy — even if those rude co-workers in the comic strip “Dilbert” are pretty funny.
But planes have crashed and patients have misunderstood diagnoses as a result of people being too polite. Indeed, the higher the stakes, the more polite people often get — exacerbating the static that disrupts effective communication, according to an article published recently in a journal of the Washington, D.C.-based Association for Psychological Science.
It’s a problem, and some businesses — including a number of airlines — are addressing it by training employees in how to recognize when the time has come to skip the finesse and be blunt, said researchers Jean-Francois Bonnefon and Wim De Neys, of the Universite de Toulouse in France, and Aidan Feeney of Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The drawback with polite statements is that listeners have to work harder to understand the nuances.
Read the whole story: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette