An Annoying Habit and a Call for Help

UnderstandI am not perfect and in fact I am going to reveal a disturbing shortcoming of mine and then ask for your help later. I am direct! In fact, I am too direct. I think  we all have a “thing” about our personalities that likely follows us along our entire lives. My “thing” is that I am too direct. This requires further explanation: when I feel very strongly about a point I am making in a conversation – whether that conversation involves one person and me or several people in a business setting – I express that thought forcefully and fervently.

Those who know me well are likely at this point chuckling a lot having been on the other side of my comment(s.) I never intend to be rude or thoughtless; I feel that I am simply expressing my opinion. Having said that, I readily admit that my intent can be hugely disconnected from the effect my tone and vehemence has on the other person or people.

It is that I am so caught up in the discussion that I never ever imagine that I am making someone or others uncomfortable. The other day following a Board meeting, in a later conversation with one of the board members, I was asked if I get mad at him if he disagrees with me. I was so surprised and said, “Of course not.” And then I realized that it was the tone I used, that same old tone I use when I am caught up in the point I want to make.

Believe me, I am also diplomatic. I am most often very careful about what I say and how I say it. It is just when I get caught up in the passion of my point of view that I slip into my old habit. I have spent a good portion of my adult life working on my too direct behavior and strongly feel that I have made great strides and do it far less often. It still pops up, and I do my best to correct any repercussions forthwith.

Having just exposed that shortcoming of mine, I will get to what I want to ask which has little to do with my disturbing habit. As I was going to expose others with what I regard as a major mistake, I felt in all fairness that I would share one of mine first.

Why don’t people take action once they know what needs to be done? Following are two examples to help explain what I mean: 1) At that same board meeting, after batting around different causes for a state of matters about which we were not pleased, we came up with one or two solutions. 2) A friend of mine called me to complain about something that has consistently caused her major difficulty all of her life. In both cases, there were several options for a solution and absolutely no positive, set plans were made or action taken.

I don’t get it. I have been involved with countless committees and board meetings. The same thing happens. People present a challenge of some kind and people talk, and talk, and talk. Most often nothing happens. I don’t get it!

My friend has a problem. I listened. Just because I am a coach doesn’t give me the right to coach her. However, she does nothing about her problem. I know sometimes someone just wants someone to listen. However, this has been going on for a very long time. Yet no action is taken.

That is so not true for me. If I am faced with a challenge, I want to figure out what needs to be done and get on with it. That could mean ask for advice, call an expert, research, make a plan, and take some action … something!

Please reply and help me understand why people do this. I can relate to just wanting a sounding board. But then, get up and do something about it. Don’t people want something done? Why have a meeting to solve a problem, and then not make a plan using the options that were raised. I don’t get it. I truly would like your help to understand why people talk and talk and talk and never do anything to fix a problem when perfectly rational solutions have been presented or are available.

In my blogs, I usually offer some suggestions to help solve a problem, make something easier, or to help out a situation. Not this time. This time I am asking for your help. Does this happen to you? Do you spend time at meetings and then nothing at all changes – nothing is done? Does someone you know tell you the same problem often – and again, nothing is done? I find that disheartening.
Now we’re back where we started. I told you about an annoying habit of mine and now please help me with this dilemma that perplexes me.

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