Sweeping Statements – Annoying, Irritating and Insulting
Sweeping statement is the term used when you give conclusive or decisive comment about something or someone. You may not know but you give sweeping statements several times a day and if you don’t mind let me say that most of the time you are wrong
You might have said to your colleagues that this manager has no sense of management whereas if someone asks you to give a ten minutes non-stop lecture on management, you may not be able to deliver it because you too may not have real in depth knowledge of the domain. So, instead of saying “no sense of management” you could more precisely say that you don’t agree to “this particular aspect of management” of that person and then elaborate your observations. The later approach in this example is not a sweeping statement instead it is a specific focal point of your point of view.
If you are in habit of giving sweeping statements, you may, at some point in time spoil your relationship with someone permanently especially when you give sweeping statement to the person face to face by annoying and irritating severely. Because when you give sweeping statement you are missing a whole lot of detailed aspects of the subject and may emotionally kill the person.
Also when you give sweeping statement it’s not about them only, it’s about you as well because it indicates the fact that you are not careful in your thinking. Which means you have a zoom-out attitude when it comes to observing people whereas zoom-in (high level) and zoom-out (detailed micro level) approaches are required to be used according to the situation.
Some other examples of sweeping (sometimes insulting) statements:
1- A man argues with his house wife “what exactly you do at home all day long?”
2- This whole nation or country is arrogant/corrupt.
3- Mom to her child “you never do good work”
4- when you say to your colleague, “you have no idea about it, so leave it to me”
So the bottom line is that instead of being judgmental and passing the remarks instantly one must strive to understand things fairly prior to giving remarks and then use appropriate words and an effective way of communication to describe ones stance in order to improve the situation, not in order to harm it by any mean.